Luggala's 5,000-acre estate was a part of the Guinness family since 1912
Luggala, the Co Wicklow estate that belonged to the Guinness family for a period, has reportedly been sold for about $22 million.
The Irish Times reports that the estate was sold earlier this year to an overseas buyer for what is believed to be significantly less than its €28 million ($30 million) price tag. It was placed on the market by the Guinness family trust in February 2017.
At the time, Luggala was still owned by Garech Browne who said during a 2017 interview on RTE Radio 1: "I would love it if the state bought it, because that would make a lot of sense.
"I think they're almost obligated to buy it."
Browne died in London in 2018 while en route to Luggala from India. At his memorial service, where his ashes were scattered at the property's Lough Tay, filmmaker John Boorman told those in attendance that Browne was so saddened when Guinness trustees placed the estate up for sale that he wanted to die.
The state did not end up purchasing Luggala, which has "significant scientific and biodiversity value, as well as tourism potential." Campaigners were hoping that parts of the estate, which is neighbored by Wicklow National Park, would remain public as they were under Browne.
Though the buyer has not been publicly disclosed, the Irish Times reports: “according to documents filed with the companies registration office in July, a new company called Luggala Estate Ltd was set up by Carolyn Dolgenos, an American woman who is married to Count Luca Rinaldo Contardo Padulli di Vighignolo.
“Count Padulli di Vighignolo founded hedge fund Camomille Associates and is believed to be one of Britain’s wealthiest individuals. He owns thousands of acres of land in Norfolk in East Anglia in England."
While Luggala dates back to 1787, it didn’t come into the Guinness family’s possession until 1912, when Arthur Ernest Guinness, the second son of Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, rented the property. He later purchased it and gifted it to his youngest daughter Oonagh for her wedding in 1937.
Oonagh is remembered for hosting lavish parties at Luggala, a tradition that did not die when her son Garech Browne came into ownership of the property. The estate, about 28 miles outside of Dublin, became a meeting place for artists, journalists, musicians, and politicians.
Whenever Browne was in residence, champagne was served all day.
Two properties on the grounds of the estate, Luggala Lodge and Cloghoge House, were available for rental, but it is unclear if they will remain so under the new ownership.
You can take a closer look at Luggala here:
Have you ever visited Luggala in Co Wicklow? Tell us about it in the comments!