Former Galway monastery on 173.5 acres offers scope for residential or hotel at €3.75m

Esker monastery and lands near Athenry being sold on behalf of Redemptorist Order after more than 300 years in religious use

Having announced the closure of its monastery at Esker near Athenry in February 2022, the Redemptorist Order has retained agent Bannon to find a buyer for the property and its wider 173-acre estate. The former religious complex is being offered to the market in one or more lots at a guide price of €3.75 million.

Esker comprises a multi-phase property arranged around a former monastery building, adjoining retreat centre (former seminary) and a deconsecrated church. The existing buildings within the complex extend to a gross internal area of about 4,559 sq m (49,072 sq ft). The main buildings within the complex are interconnected via single-storey links and comprise a total of 82 bedrooms in their existing layout.

The accommodation is occupied under a short-term licence agreement with the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth for the purpose of providing temporary housing for refugees from the ongoing war in Ukraine. The licence is due to expire in July.

In addition to the above complex, the sale also includes substantial agricultural lands and woodland with the entire holding extending to 173.5 acres.


Given the likely interest of prospective purchasers in one or more, or all of the property, Esker is being offered for sale in the following lots with the exception of the former monastery’s burial ground, which is excluded from the process:

  • Lot A Esker Buildings on about 23 acres
  • Lot B Agricultural lands comprising 41.5 acres.
  • Lot C Agricultural lands comprising 45.6 acres.
  • Lot D Agricultural lands comprising 43.9 acres.
  • Lot E Agricultural lands comprising 19.6 acres

Esker is east of Athenry, close to the M6 motorway and its intersection with the M18 (serving Ennis and Limerick) and M17 towards Tuam and Ireland West Airport. Galway City is about 30km west of the subject property.

Commenting on the sale, Niall Brereton of Bannon said: “Esker has been steeped in the history of this region for over three centuries. There is an opportunity for a new purchaser to continue this property’s enduring legacy. The scale of the existing buildings and landholding could lend itself to a multitude of potential uses in the leisure and hospitality sectors (subject to planning permission).”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times