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Irish heritage group, the Tara Circle, consider selling historic manor Alder Manor

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The Tara Circle, an Irish heritage group, has some people questioning motives as the group may make millions selling a historic manor.  The group is entertaining a few offers on the Alder Manor, a mansion built in 1912 that is on the National Register of Historic Places, in Westchester, New York.

The Tara Circle will walk away with full pockets if they decide to make a deal.  The group purchased Alder Manor in 2004 for 1.2 million and could receive up to 6 million for the Yonkers home.  The Tara Circle’s chairman emeritus, James Rice, spoke about the groups intentions  in selling the manor in the Journal News, “It’s not so much the size, though it’s way too much for us.  It’s an old building and needs a lot of TLC.” 

The group will be looking to sell only to someone who will preserve the historic value of the property.  The mansion was designed by John Carrere and Thomas Hastings and gained fame appearing in both “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.”  The mansion originally belonged to William Boyce Thompson, a mining engineer and financier. 

The Tara Circle makes use of the manor by charging for cultural programs, and holding weddings and film shoots.  The Journal News reported the group’s 2010 tax filing, the circle's revenues declared were $420,097 and expenses were $235,842.  Former city Councilman John Murtagh spoke about his concerns with the Tara Circle, “Good for them making a killing, but the Tara Circle has been dogged by questions of how it has managed its money.  I think transparency is in order.”  

He went on to say, “In the 90’s there were a lot of people who really believed they were donating money to create a real Irish Center.  Is there ever going to actually be an Irish cultural center. “

A good question if you put yourself in the shoes of the people Murtagh is talking about, donating and expecting an irish cultural center and watching the Tara Circle make money off weddings and film shoots.  And now hearing the circle might make millions selling the estate  would make anybody mad.

According to Rice, the group will plan to use the money made selling the Alder Manor to purchase a smaller cultural center in Yonkers.  Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s spokeswoman said, ”The city is pleased that the property is being sold to a developer who will invest in Yonkers and will preserve the historic structure of Alder Manor.” 

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