Corvias chief to refurbish Capard House after buying it for €4m

Property mogul John Picerne plans to refurbish Laois estate after buying it last year

Property mogul John Picerne, the founder and chief executive of Corvias Group, has emerged as the US-based buyer of Capard House. Corvias specialises in the construction, renovation and management of military and student accommodation in the United States, among other services.

The Laois estate was sold by antique and jewellery dealer John Farrington last year for €4,246,000 according to the property price register, making it one of the biggest sales of 2015. John and Heather Picerne registered a new Irish company, unsurprisingly named Capard House, in October 2015 on the same day as the sale of Capard closed.

The Block spotted television personality and interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard in Dublin last year on a trip to view Capard in advance of the Picernes' discreet acquisition of the stately pile.

The selling agents maintained that the house was still for sale, but shortly thereafter it disappeared from the market and the auction of the home’s contents was later announced. The two-day auction of Capard’s magnificent furnishings attracted buyers from across the world, with notable sales including a pair of vases that achieved €560,000.


Bullard has ventured back to Ireland on numerous occasions since his initial visit, and was here again in recent weeks staying in Dublin's swish Merrion Hotel. No doubt in search of inspiration for Capard, he has visited various landmark Irish properties such as Glin Castle, Birr Castle and Ballyfin Demesne.

Here’s hoping that he is now sufficiently inspired, as he certainly has a large blank canvas to work with given the sheer size of Capard House itself, in addition to the outbuildings that the new owner has sought to refurbish.

In February of this year Irish architects de Blacam and Meagher applied for planning permission on the owner’s behalf to refurbish courtyard buildings to create staff accommodation.