Call on Government to veto sale of Ardmore Studios

Wicklow Deputy Pat Casey says studio might cease to exist after sale if land is used for property development

A Fianna Fáil TD has called on the Government to use its stake in Ardmore Studios in Co Wicklow to veto its sale.

Wicklow Deputy Pat Casey has said that the studio might cease to exist after a sale, with the land being used for property development. He said the prospectus for the sale had placed a heavy emphasis on the "development potential for property developers".

“This is despite repeated assurances from the Government, in private and on the floor of the Dáil, that the site would be retained as a film studio and major employer in Wicklow.”

The studio is Ireland’s only facility of this kind and has been the location for major international films. Mr Casey said as many as 500 jobs were supported when the studio was working at full capacity.


The Government owns a one-third stake in the studio through Enterprise Ireland. The other two-thirds of the 18-acre site near Bray is controlled by accountant Ossie Kilkenny and U2 manager Paul McGuinness.

When its sale was announced in October it was as a “going concern”.

Country’s stake

“The decision to sell the country’s stake has been a source of major concern for me since it was first announced,” said Mr Casey. “I have long thought the reason for the sale could be to release the short-term value of the site as a potential residential property development.

“For this reason I have consistently sought access to the prospectus and marketing material being used in connection with the facility. However, the Government has kept this material secret despite the fact that the Irish people have a shareholding in the studio.”

He said the emphasis on property development suggested it would not be sold as a going concern.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times