Munster tech billionaire brothers the Collisons have bought a mansion in Co Laois next door to the €11.5 million home purchased by one of the two, John, last June.
The Victorian Millbrook House, which sits on the De Vesci estate, cost considerably less – just €400,000. It was acquired by Jersey-based Comhlacht na Feirme Ltd, which is backed by the Collisons.
Local councillors confirmed that the buyers are John and Patrick Collison, founders of tech company Stripe.
Millbrook House had been bought by compulsory purchase order by the council last year from then owner John Patrick Colclough with the intention to flip it on to a buyer with deep pockets who would save it from complete ruin.
The 9,000sq ft derelict three-storey mansion is a protected structure. It was built in 1885 on 1.7 hectares but has not been lived in for many years.
The Victorian mansion had been on the market for just €150,000 since last summer. The potential buyer had to invest in completely restoring the building, which the agent handling the sale described as “in very poor condition”.
A local authority spokesperson said that it will take “three years of restoration work to turn around [the building]. The building needs a lot of conservation.”
Millbrook House was once part of the De Vesci estate. It is located on an estate road that leads to Abbey Leix House, which was recently bought by John Collison last year.
The house was originally built as a steward’s house on the estate.
Fianna Fáil councillor John Joe Fennelly proposed the sale of the building to Comhlacht na Feirme Ltd at a council meeting this week. He said there had been significant interest in the building with 170 people registering interest by a deadline last August.
"This is a fantastic outcome. The people of Abbeyleix really appreciate the effort the council made to have it restored," he said.
It is estimated that it will cost €2 million to restore the mansion to its former glory. The accommodation on the ground floor includes two reception rooms, a study, dining room, kitchen, parlour and more.
The first floor has eight rooms, with the same again on the second floor in the attic space.