Fire destroys €26m house owned by JP McManus’s brother

Investigation after former bishop’s palace in Co Limerick damaged in overnight blaze


Gardaí are investigating a suspicious fire at a landmark residence owned by the brother of billionaire horse racing tycoon JP McManus.

The blaze which destroyed the former bishop’s palace, North Circular Road, Limerick, broke out shortly before 11.30pm.

It was earlier reported that the property belonged to JP McManus, but it has since been confirmed that it belongs to his brother, Gerry.

The eight bedroom manor, Kilmoyle House, was the former residence of Catholic Limerick Bishops but has not been occupied for years.

The three-storey property, which includes one acre of land, was destroyed in last night’s fire.

Fire fighters attached to Limerick city and county fire service fought the flames for four hours before bringing it under control.

“Two fire trucks, and a water taker vehicle were dispatched to the scene. On arrival the house was well alight,” said a source.

Fire crews also used an aerial extendable ladder to fight the fire from above as it swept through the building.

“The house has been extensively damaged. Gardaí have sealed the house off pending a technical examination this morning,” the source added.

No one was injured.

Mayorstone gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire.

Architectural heritage

Built around 1845, Kilmoyle House has 7,159 square feet of living space, and is listed as a building of important architectural heritage.

The property also comes with a 650 sq ft mews attached to its north side which was built around 1960.

It is believed Mr McManus was planning to carry out remedial works at the historic house.

He purchased it in 2014 for an undisclosed price after it went on the market for €1.1m.

It was sold by property developer Aidan Brooks who purchased it in 2007 for €26m making it one of the country’s most expensive properties.

Mr Brooks had previously planned to build a nursing home and retirement village on the site.

Mr Brooks, (46), also from Limerick, retained five acres of land around Kilmoyle House, leaving one acre as part of the sale to Mr McManus.