Goffs prepare to ramble around Ballinacor estate


Sir Robert and Lady Goff, formerly big players in the Dublin property and art worlds, have emerged as the purchasers of Ballinacor, the sporting estate in the Wicklow mountains. The large Georgian house on 4,152 acres is to be vacated shortly by the Earl of Meath when he moves to the family seat, the 880-acre Kilruddery estate near Bray.

The Goffs (she is formerly Sheila Chadwick of the Dublin business family) will hardly be intimidated by the task of taking over the large, rambling Ballinacor House, with its numerous bedrooms and stately reception rooms near Rathdrum. Up to 1996, the couple and their two children lived in an equally splendid large Palladian villa, Seafield House, at Donabate, Co Dublin. Since selling it for around £1 million, they have been sharing their time between Lissen Hall, a Chadwick house in Donabate, and their home in the Isle of Man. With a new motorway and sewerage system about to intrude on the peace around Lissen Hall, it is hardly surprising that the wealthy couple have decided to take to the hills. They will have to spend a few million on bringing Ballinacor up to scratch but that should be no bother to them: they sold a number of valuable properties in Dublin over the past few years, notably a block of shops and apartments in Temple Bar, including the Elephant & Castle restaurant, for around £10 million.

Their decision to buy Ballinacor for somewhat less than the asking price of £10 million will be good news for their property advisers and keen sportsmen, Paul McDowell and Robert Ganly of Ganly Walters, who will undoubtedly be invited to sample some of the best shooting in Ireland. Ganly Walters also handled the sale for the Earl of Meath.