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The late taoiseach Charles Haughey taking tea on the grounds of Abbeville in Kinsealy, Co Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

Charles Haughey’s estate where he entertained Gaddafi and Luciano Pavarotti up for auction

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The late taoiseach Charles Haughey taking tea on the grounds of Abbeville in Kinsealy, Co Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

The home of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey is to be auctioned off with an asking price of €7.5 million. The mansion, in Abbeville, Kinsealy, County Dublin played host to a plethora of dignitaries and celebrities since its conception in 1770.

The Irish Times reports on the pending auction of the historic mansion just outside of Dublin City Center.

The mansion, which was first constructed in 1770, was extended 20 years later by famed architect James Gandon, who also designed the Custom House and the Four Courts in Dublin. The dining room at Abbeville is now “regarded as Gandon’s finest surviving domestic interior.”

The former Taoiseach and late Charles Haughey “adored the place – you could see when he was walking the land that he appreciated the heritage”, said Sam Stephenson, who designed an bar for Haughey reclaiming a Belfast bank counter. The bar is still intact at Abbeville today.

Haughey indeed left his mark on his beloved Abbeville. A fountain in front of the mansion bears the family crest motto “Marte Nostro (“by our own efforts”), with the same inscription on the stone entrance to the stables. Similarly, on the west-facing conservatory is a direction sign to his Kerry island: “Inismhicileáin 12000.”

The historic mansion is kept safe by live-in guards from a UK company called Camelot. Thieves would no doubt clamor at the opportunity to pillage the mansion.

With an asking price tag of €7.5 million, Abbeville is being auctioned by Savills as a “magnificent Gandon Mansion in a parkland setting just 10km from Dublin City Centre.” Today’s price tag is only around a fifth of what Manor Park Homes paid for the property in 2003, allowing Charlie and Maureen Haughey to continue living in the house.

Haughey himself trusted that the Manor Park people were “good people,” who would remain true to Abbeville’s historic roots and refrain from altering it too radically. Manor Park is now in receivership and its planning permission to develop the estate as a resort has already expired – although it could be reactivated. The potential for a resort is great with its handy location, rich history and ample space and opportunity for development.

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