Sean Dunne’s former Shrewsbury home sells for €5.6million
Trophy Celtic Tiger home where Dunne and Gayle Killilea lived up to 2007, purchased by an Irish buyer
The former Shrewsbury Road home of bankrupt developer Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea has sold after almost two years years on the market. Originally for sale for €7million, the palatial 8,700sq ft home gradually dropped in price to €5.5million, before the sale closed in recent weeks to an unnamed Irish buyer for €5.6million.
Ouragh - named after Dunne’s birthplace in Tullow, Co Carlow - was placed on the market through Colliers International in May 2015 by Bank of Scotland through joint receivers Michael Madden and Michael Coyle of HWBC Allsop.
The new buyer is understood to be an Irish businessman and his family who plan to live permanently in the six bed property. Laid out over four storeys, Ouragh was built by Dunne in 2002 as a statement home for entertaining on a grand scale, just as his property empire was reaching its peak.
The best materials and craftsmanship were used to fit out the brand new build in keeping with the Edwardian and Victorian styles of its elders on the road. Off the marble hall a formal diningroom leads through two sets of double doors via a butler’s pantry – with sink and lift – to a vast drawing room of ballroom proportions running the width of the house.
It was in this room that Dunne posed under Killilea’s admiring gaze for the now-familiar portrait by photographer Derek Speirs for a New York Times article on post-bust Ireland in 2008.
Other contemporary “must haves” at Ouragh include a lift serving every floor, a hotel-style bar in the basement complete with taps and a cooler system and a gym room with sauna attached. The master bedroom features a “party-size” jacuzzi and giant walk-in shower in the en suite.
Dunne purchased the site for IR£3million from Niall O’Farrell, founder of the Black Tie chain, in 1999. It was part of a 0.4 acre site O’Farrell had bought the previous year for IR£3.6million and O’Farrell built his former property, Thorndene, on the remainder of the site.
But Dunne’s biggest foray by far on Shrewsbury Road came in 2005 when he paid €58million for another property, Walford, earning it the title “Ireland’s most-expensive house”. Following the collapse of his empire, Yesreb Holdings, a company with links to Dunne, purchased the property for €14million. Most recently a further twist was added to this story when a trust established by financier Dermot Desmond for his children paid €14.25million for Walford just before Christmas.