GAA outbid for Spawell leisure facility

Davy-managed successful bidder paid over €9m for long-established Dublin complex

An investment fund managed by Davy has outbid the GAA for the Spawell complex, a long-established leisure and sporting facility in Templeogue, Dublin 6W. The successful bidder has paid in excess of €9 million for the 13.92 hectares (34.45 acre) grounds – well over €500,000 more than that offered by the GAA. The private treaty sale was conducted by Dessie Kilkenny of Savills on behalf of Grant Thornton who were appointed receivers by AIB.

Though the Spawell has planning approval for a vast new leisure centre and a five-storey, 149-bedroom hotel there is little or no chance of that proceeding because of the risks involved in such huge outlay and the fact the area is well catered for by hotels. The new owners will be happy to earn a rental income of €604,516 from 12 tenancies and may well look at ways of broadening the rental base.

However, Spawell will be seen as a longer-term buy with obvious development prospects for such a strategically located land bank of almost 35 acres, one that has been bought in at little more than €250,000 per acre. Under the draft South Dublin County Development Plan for 2016-2022, the owners of Spawell will have the right to make representation regarding the possible rezoning of part of the lands for housing, offices, shopping or other facilities. That there is already an existing planning permission in place is bound to strengthen the case for a viable alternative.

The current planning permission is for a two-storey over basement leisure centre extending to 21,554sq m (232,113sq ft) and a five-storey over basement 149 bedroom hotel with ancillary facilities and 579 car parking spaces.


The planning consent was initially granted in April 2010, and subsequently extended to April 2020.

The Spawell has an 18-hole, par 3 golf course as well a two-storey indoor 48-bay driving range, two squash courts and astro turf pitches. Additional occupiers include D’arcy McGee pub; Gymboree, Just Maths, Total Lazer Health and Easy Garden. Spawell is 9km southwest of Dublin city centre, convenient to a range of densely populated suburbs including Templeogue, Walkinstown, Rathfarnham and Terenure. The centre is at the intersection of Wellington Lane and Templeogue Road, within 700 metres of junction 11 of the M5 motorway.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times