Cut-Price Mansion for Sale
A home built for property developer Robert Butler in Adare is back on the market, but this time its price has been slashed by €8.2 million as it has failed to attract a buyer in three years.
When it first came on the market in 2008 with a price of €12 million it was one of the most expensive properties ever to be put up for sale locally.
Now the eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom house on the grounds of Adare Manor estate is back on the market for a more modest €3.8 million.
Several lavish properties in the picturesque village of Adare are now for sale with seven-figure price-tags, which have been greatly reduced from the boom years.
Another palatial home in the Adare Manor estate is also available for €2.5 million.
But despite numerous viewings, the lure of their ornate decor, marble floors and expansive grounds has yet to pay dividends.
The two properties are among 19 houses in the 840-acre Adare Manor estate, which borders the famous golf club.
Des O’Malley, agent with Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley, said the drop in price is a symptom of the property market at present.
“Both represent extraordinarily good value and have held their value a lot more than other properties at the moment,” he said.
The residence built by Sisk for Butler is named “Winterwood, the Demense,” an eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom house on 2.8 acres of land.
It once attracted a bid of €10 million, but the sale did not go through.
It is one of the largest houses to have been built on the estate with a staggering 17,000 square feet of living space.
It is pitched on the website as “a stunning property in a enclave of exceptional homes in an amenity rich private setting.”
In a further sign of extravagance displayed during the boom years, the three-storey house has an atrium hallway lit by the largest-ever privately commissioned Waterford Crystal chandelier.
Nearby, number 13 The Demesne, is smaller at 9,000 square feet but has an indoor swimming pool in its separate wing, a grand drawing room and just over three-quarters of an acre of formal gardens. It has five en suite bedrooms and two further bathrooms and is priced at €2.5 million.
Both houses come with full membership of the Adare Manor golf club, and all residents have the use of the hotel and its facilities. Service charges on each property is around €4,500 a year, which includes security and insurance.
Game Officials Attacked
Emergency talks have been held by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association after a referee and a senior county official were knocked unconscious at the recent senior county final game between Augher-based St. Macartan's and Carrickmore.
There were ugly scenes following the ladies game in Beragh when referee Simon Brady was attacked, while Tyrone ladies football chairman Martin Conway was also stretchered off the pitch as he attempted to intervene.
Tyrone Ladies' GAA confirmed an investigation had been launched and it is also understood that the Police Service of Northern Ireland are investigating. Brady was treated at the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen for bruising and swelling to his face.
"I was checking my scorecard to make sure everything was in order. I got a tap on the shoulder from one of the managers wanting to shake my hand and that is the last thing I remember,” says Brady.
“Apparently I was hit. My understanding is that it was a spectator. I woke up maybe five minutes later. I was frightened. I didn't know what had happened. All I knew was I was lying on the ground and it was wet and cold.
“I wasn't even aware Martin Conway had been hit by another individual when he came to help me. It is absolutely shameful that this sort of thing has happened.
“I give up my time freely to officiate at these games. I am a volunteer in what is a pretty tough job and one that can feel very lonely at times. There's a lot of shock. I believe it is the most serious incident that has ever happened, at least in Tyrone football."
A statement from Tyrone Ladies' Gaelic Football Association confirmed that an investigation had been launched.
“The county board roundly condemn the perpetrators of the assaults and confirm that a full investigation into the matter had been launched,” said the statement.
In 2004 following a brawl at a men's match a Carrickmore fan was banned from Gaelic games for two years after striking referee Martin Brady.
Fallen Bull Rescued
Ballycastle firefighters carried out a rescue with a difference recently when they came to the aid of a stricken bull.
The rusty brown colored beast had become trapped in a ravine in the Glenshesk area after a fall, and had lain there for a number of days before being discovered by its owner on Friday evening.
With light fading, it was decided to wait until Saturday operation to begin the rescue when local firefighters were assisted by a specialist animal rescue unit from Omagh.
Ballycastle watch commander Hugh McGill believes the animal could have fallen between 80-100 feet, and the rough terrain meant a sling and a winch were the only viable rescue method.
"The bull had went over the slope and landed in a small burn in a rough area of land. There was a steep slope to one side and the other side was very rough so the best thing to do was to get it up using a winch attached to a Land Rover and a sling,” he said.
Before being winched to safety a vet was on the scene to sedate the animal, which was then rolled on to a net before being hauled up.
“All went well," said McGill. “The animal did suffer a broken leg in the fall but the farmer thinks it will make a full recovery in time."
The Ballycastle Chronicle
Fox Population Rises
AN increase in Dublin's fox population is worrying families, say experts.
However, the same experts are urging people to stay calm as there are few, if any, reports of the fox population attacking household pets or humans.
Maurice Eakin, a conservation officer with Fingal County Council said, "Anecdotally, I'd say there's been an increase over the last few years.
"We get complaints from people who are concerned about the foxes. People just don't want them. They are concerned they might bite them or their children.
"They're right to be concerned. You would have concerns about any wild animal, but I've never heard any complaints about foxes attacking pets or people anywhere in the city."
He said most complaints made to the county council were about female foxes giving birth in back gardens, but that a lot of people enjoyed spotting foxes.
"A lot of people would be absolutely delighted to see foxes in the city. It's a bit of wildlife, a bit of the countryside,” he said.
Joanne Pender from the Irish Wildlife Trust said the new foxes pose no threat to people. "They generally don't confront humans. They're really a lovely animal, they're rarely vicious," she said. "The reason we're seeing more foxes in the urban areas is because they're losing their natural habitat."
This became evident only last month when five fox cubs were born at a location just two kilometers away from Dublin city center.
Attacks on household pets by Ireland's 150,000 foxes are very rare, said Pender.
"They might attack very small animals, like they might break into a chicken coop, but it's rare. I've never heard any examples of that. They're really no harm."
Last year, two nine-month- old twins in London required plastic surgery after they were attacked by a fox while they slept in their cots.
Their parents, Nick and Pauline Koupparis, reported that the fox came in through open patio doors.
Defend With Force
A prominent Donegal businessman targeted by thieves who stole a specialized piece of farming equipment from him says property owners should be allowed to use “lethal force” to protect their property.
Drumkeen building contractor Dessie McFeely is offering a reward of €5,000 for information which will identify those involved in the theft of a valuable McHale soft hand bail handler that was taken from his property recently in Meenavoy.
McFeely says the punishment handed down in court for the perpetrators of such crimes is not a deterrent and claims many thieves continue to re-offend.
He said in circumstances where criminals are caught in the act, a property owner should be entitled to use “whatever force they feel is necessary.”
“Even if someone is caught for this, a solicitor will come along with these guys in court and they will be fined €250 or €300. They get off and they are away again doing the exact same thing. I don’t blame the Gardai (police) one bit because their hands are tied,” he says.
“You have to abide by the law of the land. Secondly, because of the fact the jails are overcrowded and a Garda brings someone to court and there is this small fine, that is not a deterrent. That’s the point I’d be making about lethal force,” he adds.
“If they are caught in the act, instant justice is the best way to prevent anything.”
McFeely says he believes the bail handler was either taken by a farmer or is destined to be sold on to a farmer who may not know the equipment’s true origin.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?