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NAMA gets €2.2m from sale of developer's house gutted by fire


The Marlay Grange house that was damaged by fire

The Marlay Grange house that was damaged by fire

The Marlay Grange house that was damaged by fire

NAMA is to pocket around €2.2m from the sale of a property sold by well-known developer Niall Mellon.

The businessman -- who is well known for the Niall Mellon Township Trust, which builds homes for the poor in South Africa -- bought the property in Rathfarnham, south Dublin from the British Embassy in 2008.

But two years later, the house, known as Marlay Grange, was destroyed by fire. Mr Mellon said it was not insured.

All that remains is the external walls of the cut-stone Edwardian-style building which is set on 12.4 acres.

Despite the fire damage, it was speculated that he might raise €3.5m from its sale -- but when it came to the market last year his agents Colliers quoted an asking price of €2.75m.

Last night they confirmed the sale of the property to an Irish person who plans to restore the house.

Colliers refused to disclose the final selling price, but it is believed to be around €2.3m.

As Mr Mellon's loans have been transferred to NAMA, it stands to pocket the proceeds of the sale after various expenses are paid.

Mr Mellon also recently put the Twelfth Lock Hotel on the market. Last year Colliers also sold Mr Mellon's 242-acre Coolmore Estate in Co Kilkenny for around €3.25m and again the proceeds went to NAMA.

He also sold 50 apartments in the Meridian Quay development in Swansea last year, bringing to 241 the sales in the 291-unit Welsh development.

At the time he told the irish Independent: "We did not panic when the market ground to a halt and maintained our prices and even managed to sell one of them for £1m (€1.2m). Which just goes to show what can be done."

Mr Mellon and his family continue to live in their home on five acres in Mount Anville, near Goatstown in south Dublin.

Last year he welcomed what he considers a change in NAMA's attitude toward developers.

"They realise that not everyone needs to be put in receivership. But they also need to incentivise people with expertise to make the most of the properties in NAMA's portfolio."

Irish Independent