Tuesday 25 June 2019

Bertie's former HQ goes on sale for €595,000

Bertie with his former wife Miriam Ahern at St. Luke's in 2010 before the announcement that he would not be running in the next general election.
Bertie with his former wife Miriam Ahern at St. Luke's in 2010 before the announcement that he would not be running in the next general election.
St Lueks entrance hall (Photo: Lisney)
St Lukes' reception rooms (Photo: Lisney)
St Lukes is for sale (Photo: Lisney)

Sam Griffin

THE one-time headquarters of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been put up for sale by Fianna Fáil.

St Luke's, located at 161 Drumcondra Road in Mr Ahern's north Dublin heartland, is available for €595,000.

The Drumcondra offices were Mr Ahern's base for most of his political career and formed a key part of the Mahon Tribunal's investigations into planning matters and payments.

In a statement issued last night, a Fianna Fáil spokesperson said the decision to offload the controversial property had been made by the party hierarchy.

"We can confirm that following a review of the party's assets across the country, the trustees of Fianna Fáil have decided to sell this property.

"All aspects of the sale are being handled by Lisney Estate Agents."

The online ad describes the 1,900 square foot three-bedroom premises as a "prominent detached property" with "elegantly proportioned accommodation throughout".

The ad states: "St Luke's is a high profile detached property on Lower Drumcondra Road, close to its junction with Botanic Avenue and only 2.5km north of Dublin city centre.

"It is adjacent to the various village centre amenities of Drumcondra and the Botanic Gardens, the Mater Hospital, the Bons Secours Hospital and St Patrick's College are close by.

The house also boasts off-street car parking and private garden to rear as well as a kitchen area, bathrooms and cloakroom.

"Overhead, the accommodation is set out as living space with three rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom," the ad states.

The building was bought by a trust of Mr Ahern's closest associates, dubbed the 'Drumcondra mafia' in January 1988 for IR£56,000 and turned into a constituency office, with an apartment overhead where Mr Ahern occasionally lived.

However it has been mired in much controversy.

Mr Ahern admitted during questioning at the Mahon Tribunal that he kept large amounts of cash in it at a time when he did not hold a bank account.

The trust who bought the property included some of the former Fianna Fáil leader's closest associates including Joe Burke, Tim Collins and Des Richardson.

The trust had initially attempted to resist efforts to hand over the house to Fianna Fáil before relinquishing ownership in 2012.

However the building had remained idle ever since the keys had been handed over to the party.

Senior members within the party had been eager to sell off the property.

Last year the party had said it had no immediate plans to sell the property.

It has been suggested that it could be used as base for Fianna Fáil election campaigns.

Irish Independent

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