Sean Mulryan outlines ambitious vision for Ballymore Eustace
Developer’s application for 84 new homes part of ‘place making’ plan
Developer Sean Mulryan has ambitious plans for his adopted home town of Ballymore Eustace in Co Kildare. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Sean Mulryan’s love of Ballymore Eustace is a long-established one, dating as it does back to 1979, when at the age of 25, he developed his first one-off house in the Kildare town. The Roscommon native went on to name his building company after his adopted home.
From establishing itself as one of Ireland’s largest homebuilders in the 1980s and 1990s, Mulryan’s Ballymore later moved to expand its operations into the hugely-lucrative London market through the well-timed acquisition of a series of brownfield sites in the city’s then-neglected docklands. The decision would prove to be both the making in the boom, and the saviour in the bust that followed, of Ballymore Group.
Now it looks like Mulryan is looking to bring the group’s success story back to where it all began, with an ambitious plan to put Ballymore Eustace on the map in its own right.
While the planning section of Kildare County Council merely records an application submitted last November by Ballymore Ireland Contracting for the development of 84 new homes in the town, it’s understood that the proposed scheme forms part of a wider plan by Mulryan to make the area into a “destination”.
The Ballymore chief’s interest in “place making” is borne out to a degree in the proposal, with the inclusion of a design centre extending to 360 sq m (3,875 sq ft), along with public parklands incorporating pedestrian bridges over the stream that runs through the site.
And while several local residents have written to the council’s planners, expressing their concerns in relation to the proposed scheme’s potential impact on their homes, Mulryan is said by sources to “be determined to do things right” in Ballymore Eustace.
One source close to the developer said: “This isn’t about the money. It’s about doing the right thing. Sean loves the place too much.”
All of which makes perfect sense given that the developer’s family home of many years, Ardenode Stud, is located merely a stone’s throw from the town.
Add to that Mulryan’s penchant for Sunday lunch at the renowned Ballymore Inn, and he’ll be keen to get this Kildare venture right in every way.