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A €1.1m Celtic Tiger mansion with access to golf and a five-star hotel and spa for €1.1m

  • 1 The Fairways Killenard, Co Laois
  • Asking price: €1.1m
  • Agent: Hume Auctioneers (057) 8681111

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The handmade sweeping staircase in the reception hall

The handmade sweeping staircase in the reception hall

The master bedroom

The master bedroom

The James Gandon-esque pillars upon entering the property

The James Gandon-esque pillars upon entering the property

The exterior of no1

The exterior of no1

The kitchen with island unit

The kitchen with island unit

A reception room

A reception room

The study of no1

The study of no1

The Grants

The Grants

The house overlooks the course

The house overlooks the course

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The handmade sweeping staircase in the reception hall

A €1.1m golf mansion at The Heritage resort in Killenard, Co Laois, is testament to the optimism of the Celtic Tiger years. The opulent 4,500 sq ft luxury home, which overlooks a course designed by the late Seve Ballesteros, comes with enough hand-cut crystal chandeliers to make Marie Antoinette blush, as well as its very own 442 sq ft ballroom.

It was originally built around the highly ambitious €100m five star hotel and golf resort spearheaded by Laois businessman Tom Keane. The scheme sank in the crash with loans owed to Anglo Irish Bank. The hotel was scooped up for a just over €5.5m in 2014 by two US businessmen (including Adrian Carmack, the creator of successful video games Doom and Quake). Two years ago, they sold it to the international FBD Group for €8.8m and in recent years has been going strong as an international tourist attraction.

The owner of No1 is Stephen Grant, who founded Grant Engineering in Birr in 1978. The entrepreneur has rarely used the house since its construction in 2007 on the grounds of The Heritage, the five-star hotel and golf resort which today includes one of the top five spas in Ireland.

"We stay the odd time for a weekend, when we might have dinner and a drink or two at the hotel," says Grant, an inventor who has some 60 patents through his firm for boilers, including the Grant Vortex condensing oil boiler.

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The exterior of no1

The exterior of no1

The exterior of no1

Grant spent an estimated €2.1m on the property, the cost of constructing the modern mansion on the acquired site and the following bill for antique furniture and high-end fittings - including the chandeliers imported from the Czech Republic.

Grant intended the mansion at The Heritage as a short-term investment, but the property crash put paid to those plans.

One of the early members of the Heritage golf course was Grant's son, Stephen Grant Jnr, who in 2004, cut his football career short to take up golf as a professional.

The house has a long entertainment balcony that commands views from the second fairway all the way to the formal gardens of Emo Court, a vast neo-classical pile designed in 1790 by James Gandon, the architect behind the Custom House and the Four Courts.

Indeed, the design of Grant's home and gardens borrowed elements from Gandon's Laois masterpiece, with tall pillars to the front entrance supporting the Kilkenny blue limestone balcony. There is a Romanesque inner courtyard with an antique water fountain, and the outdoor landscaping includes a stone driveway, a stone patio, and a lawn.

The substantial high ceiling reception hall comes with a marble floor and its centrepiece is a handmade sweeping staircase with a multi-tiered chandelier hanging from the double-height ceiling.

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The kitchen with island unit

The kitchen with island unit

The kitchen with island unit

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"That chandelier weighs about 70kg or 80kg and a chain system was used to pull it up from the attic," says Grant.

The galleried landing on the first floor has a set of double doors that leads to the feature balcony overlooking the fairways. On this level, all four bedrooms are ensuite, with heritage sanitaryware to those bathrooms, and all but one bedroom has walk-in wardrobes. The ensuite to the master bedroom comes with a Jacuzzi bath.

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A reception room

A reception room

A reception room

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