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Slieve Russell Hotel hits the market with €35m price tag

Jewel in Irish business empire of former billionaire Sean Quinn comprises 224-room hotel and championship golf course set within 300-acre resort

The Slieve Russell Hotel Golf & Country Club, the onetime jewel in former billionaire Sean Quinn’s business empire, has hit the market with a price tag of €35 million. The much-anticipated sale of the four-star Cavan venue, which is being conducted by CBRE on behalf of the liquidators of IBRC, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of Interpath Advisory, is expected to appeal to both domestic and international investors.

Cavan-born businessman Sean Gallagher is among those expected to make a bid for the Slieve Russell, having expressed his interest in acquiring the property just weeks after The Irish Times revealed that the hotel was being readied for sale. In a statement issued to The Currency business news website, Mr Gallagher said he had appointed Tom Barrett of Savills to advise him. He stressed, however, that he would only seek to acquire the hotel with the blessing of Sean Quinn, his family and the local community.

The arrival of the Slieve Russell to the market comes just five days after The Irish Times reported that another of Ireland’s most luxurious hotel and golf resorts, the Mount Juliet estate in Kilkenny, is being put up for sale at a guide price of €45 million by its owners, Tetrarch Capital.

The Slieve Russell, which opened for business in 1990, comprises 224 bedrooms and extensive banqueting and leisure facilities, with an 18-hole PGA championship golf course and nine-hole academy course set on 300 acres on the outskirts of Ballyconnell. Once nicknamed the “Oh my God hotel” for the reaction it often provoked from visitors approaching it on the road leading in and out of Ballyconnell, the hotel has been extended on a number of occasions over the years to the point where today its buildings extend across a total area of 27,500sq m (296,007sq ft). The hotel comes for sale in excellent condition having undergone capital investment of €7.5 million since 2019 alone.


The Slieve Russell’s 224 guest bedrooms range in size from 22sq m (237sq ft) to 80sq m (861sq ft) and have a contemporary design.

Visitors to the hotel can avail of an extensive food and beverage offering with four outlets offering a variety of dining options. The hotel’s Cranaghan, Woodford and Erne banqueting suites attract wedding business from a wide catchment area both north and south of the Border. The Slieve Russell has the ability to host national conferences with a capacity for up to 1,000 delegates, with a private entrance and car parking for approximately 800 cars.

The Ciúin Spa comprises 13 treatment rooms, while the Slieve Russell Country Club’s facilities include a 20 metre pool, Jacuzzi steam room, sauna and a fitness suite.

The wider resort has an 18-hole championship course, a nine-hole par 3 academy course, a three-bay floodlit driving range, a putting green and a practice area. Designed by the highly regarded golf architect Patrick Merrigan, the Slieve Russell is one of just eight PGA National-designated resorts in the world. The championship par-72 course measures over 7,000 yards and is set against the stunning visual backdrop of Cavan’s countryside lakes and drumlins with part of the 50 acres of water that make up the Slieve Russell estate playing their part in the overall design. The course is regarded as one of Ireland’s best parkland courses. The home club of Irish golfing star Leona Maguire, the Slieve Russell has attracted several big golf tournaments over the years, including two European Tour events and the Irish PGA Championship. The venue has also staged an annual PGA pro-am every year since 1997.

Located in a picturesque setting on the outskirts of the town of Ballyconnell, the Slieve Russell Hotel features prominently in “Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands”, an initiative by Fáilte Ireland, to promote tourism in the region.

Commenting on the sale of the Slieve Russell Hotel Golf & Country Club, Paul Collins, head of CBRE’s hotel division said: “This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of Irelands best known and highly profitable resort hotels. The scale of ongoing investment in the hotel’s facilities and its growing business will appeal to the national and international investment market”.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times