Kildare demesne deal sparks interest from abroad


LAST week, 90-year-old Co Kildare farmer Richard Robinsonoffered to stump up part of the cost of restoring his vast Palladian-style home to anyone prepared to buy it.

The unusual gesture has triggered an exceptional level of interest from the United States, Britain and Ireland in the 18th century pile, Newberry Hall Demesne, near Carbury, Co Kildare, which is to be sold exactly 100 years after Mr Robinson’s father bought it.

Navan auctioneer Raymond Potterton, who is guiding €7 million to €7.5 million for the 444-acres demesne, says the huge number of credible enquiries about Newberry shows that there are still plenty of people with serious cash to invest in good properties.

One UK-based businessman, who travelled to Co Kildare within hours of the sale being announced in The Irish Timestold the auctioneer: “I don’t need the bother of this but it is very hard not to be tempted to buy into what will undoubtedly be a wonderful project.”

The task of turning Newberry Hall around will cost several million because, apart from the three exceptionally fine reception rooms, it is quite rundown and in need of serious upgrading.

The challenge is all the greater because the main house is linked to two pavilion wings, also needing considerable attention.

The sale of Newberry has also renewed interest in its famous Trinity Well which is the source of the River Boyne as it sets off on its 70 mile journey through Kildare, Meath and Louth to the sea at Mornington.