Stuttering housing market isn’t music to the ears of AIB’s Duffy

AIB’s chief executive still seeking a buyer for his plush eight-bed holiday home

It emerged this week that the brakes are pressing down on the housing market again, with property website reporting that asking prices dipped by 1 per cent in the last three months of 2014.

This is definitely not good news for some deep-pocketed Irish business figures who are trying to sell their mansions.

For example, AIB's chief executive, David Duffy, is still seeking a buyer for Aghadown, his plush eight-bedroom holiday home near Skibbereen in Cork. It was on the market early last year for €3.7 million, before Duffy lopped €1.2 million off the asking price in September. Still no takers.

Never mind. With the other banks this week cranking up to compete with AIB in the mortgage market, someone might be able to borrow enough to buy it.


Staying in Cork, Sunday's Well this time, Bill Keary, the motor industry magnate who owns some 10 dealerships, is also looking for a buyer for Woodlawn, his restored €3.8 million period pile. It has only been on the market since September, however.

The agents describe Woodlawn as “one of Cork’s finest houses”, though not as fine as another Cork house put on the market last year by another, even wealthier, motor industry figure.

British businessman David Blackburn, who once owned the Mitsubishi franchise for UK and Ireland, is seeking €6.95 million for the Lisselane estate near Clonakilty, which even has its own nine-hole golf course. It was on the market for €9 million during the summer.

In the real capital, Max McMullan, a director of the McMullan family-owned Maxol business, is off-loading his Killiney home for €2.65 million. Down the road in Dalkey, UK-based Irish businessman Terry Coleman wants €12 million for Sorrento House, which was the most expensive house in Ireland in 1998 when he bought it for €9.5 million.

Sorrento House has been on the market for well over a year, but the price has yet to be cut. Coleman, a former Jefferson Smurfit executive turned car alarms tycoon, also has an address in Alderley Edge, the Cheshire village that is also home to half of the Man United squad.

On Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road, the former home of polo-playing property developer Larry O’Mahony, who was in business with Tom McFeely of Priory Hall fame, is also still on the market after seven months, for €6 million.

How long until Nama drops its asking price to secure a quick return for the taxpayer?