HomeNewsGovernment turned down chance to buy Adare Manor

Government turned down chance to buy Adare Manor

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A COUNTY Limerick Government Minister tried unsuccessfully to get the State to buy Adare Manor when it came up for sale for one million Punts in 1980, it has been revealed.

Gerry Collins, who was Minister for Justice in the Fianna Fáil Government thirty years ago, wrote to the then Taoiseach Charles Haughey urging him to acquire the important property for what he described as “a song.”

He pointed out that National Lottery funding could be used to acquire the 19th century manor on 1,000 acres, which had been the home of the Dunraven family for more than 200 years.

The push to snap up Adare Manor for civic purposes was revealed in the publication of State papers at the end of last year.

Mr Haughey was in favour of buying the estate but when the deal was scrutinised by Finance Minister Michael O’Kennedy he concluded that it couldn’t be justified.

At the same time the Office of Public Works said that it had no purpose for the estate and no plans for a major public park in Limerick, similar to the Malahide Castle Demesne or Dublin’s Marlay Park.

There were also plans to buy the Manor for the State in 1983 when Garret Fitzgerald was in government and this was backed by another Limerick Minister for Justice, Michael Noonan.

The National Museum were also in favour of the purchase at that stage but Finance Minister, Alan Dukes again ruled it out as having no particular purpose at the time.

Adare Manor was eventually bought by Limerick businessman and racehorse owner JP McManus for an estimated €30 million in 2015.

Following extensive renovations and an investment of more than €80 million over the last two years, Adare Manor will be the venue for the Ryder Cup golf tournament in 2026.

Bernie English
Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ie
Bernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news.
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