AIB chief executive seeks €3.7m for holiday home

Georgian mansion set on nine acres in prime coastal location in west Cork


The head of Ireland’s largest State-owned bank is selling his west Cork holiday home for €3.7million. AIB chief executive David Duffy will be hoping to attract international buyers for the Georgian mansion on nine acres in west Cork when it goes on the market today through Sherry FitzGerald and Christies International.

The former Church of Ireland rectory – known as Glebe House, and now being marketed as Aghadown after the townland – sits in a prime coastal location overlooking the Ilen River estuary approaching the sailing port of Baltimore in west Cork. Mr Duffy’s parents currently live on the extended and renovated property having formerly run the Bunratty Inn, in nearby Schull.

Mr Duffy bought the property in 2003 for €3 million from technology millionaire Leonard Donnelly and his wife Sarah, who had restored it over a number of years. Since then the Duffys have invested further in the property and carried out groundwork improvements to enhance the river views to Baltimore Harbour.

The property was placed for sale quietly through Charles McCarthy auctioneers in Skibbereen early last year seeking €4-€5 million. It is now likely the selling effort will be directed towards a more international audience.

The region has developed a name as a haven for celebrities, which may be an attraction for potential buyers. Neighbours include producer and Ireland’s digital ambassador Lord David Puttnam, and actor Jeremy Irons, while Graham Norton’s Ahakista holiday home is just 30 minutes away.

Mr Duffy, who has headed AIB since 2011 and was paid a package of €489,000 last year, told The Irish Times: “We have had an extremely enjoyable time in west Cork over the last 10 years as a family.”

“With the children away in university in the US and with our commitments in Dublin,” continues Mr Duffy, “we are not spending as much time there as we would wish.”

Mr Duffy’s parents intend remaining in the area to be close to other family members, and “the choice of location will be determined following the sale”, Mr Duffy said.

The house extends to 10,600sq ft/985 sq m and its nine acres include an astroturf tennis court and carefully maintained grounds sweeping down to a pontoon for water access.

Originally built in 1784, there have been a number of recent additions to bring it to luxury status. The main house has five bedrooms, with the first floor dominated by the master suite, dressingroom and a large study with glorious views to the sea. A turret, housing a curving staircase winding upwards from the main hallway, was a later addition.

Off the main courtyard is separate guest accommodation in a two-bed cottage and one-bed apartment, a games room, office and wine cellar. The exterior of the property has been rendered with a pink lime wash popular in the area.

The property is difficult to value as there would be few in the area to compare it with. However, Fastnet House the former, ultra-modern Kinsale home of Howard Holdings director Greg Coughlan sold for €3million late last year, while Glandore house, Seamark, sold for €3.7million in 2012.


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