Fergal Naughton buys Dermot Desmond’s €9m Merrion Square town house

Glen Dimplex chairman’s Howth home on market for €8.75m after €1.25m price cut

Chairman of Glen Dimplex Fergal Naughton has emerged as the buyer of Dermot Desmond’s €9 million Merrion Square townhouse. Mr Naughton, a founding president of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, has been living in Howth, Co Dublin, but Drumleck House, his clifftop home, is for sale with an €8.75 million asking price. The house was originally priced at €10 million when it came on the market last year but was reduced by €1.25 million in April.

Mr Desmond, a billionaire who is the largest shareholder in Celtic Football Club, owns several properties around the world. He recently finished a lavish refurbishment of Walford on Shrewsbury Road, once the most expensive house in the country when property developer Sean Dunne paid €57.9 million for it in 2005.

Mr Desmond bought the Victorian house in rundown condition for €14.25 million and has tripled it in size to 1,579sq m, adding an outdoor paddle tennis court, four large bedrooms, staff quarters, a gym, wine cellar, games room, basement swimming pool and a three-bay garage.

The restoration of his Merrion Square home, formerly owned by fashion designer Sybil Connolly, was not as straightforward. Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála refused Mr Desmond planning permission for a dumb waiter, a device used at one time to transport food and drink from the cellar kitchens to reception rooms upstairs using a system of levers and pulleys.


He eventually secured permission for the device after a court challenge, remarking at the time that the rights of property owners had to be weighed against the “desire of conservationists to have perfect museum pieces caught in one period of time”.

Mr Naughton, who is chairman of the Provost’s Council at Trinity College Dublin, has served in several roles at Glen Dimplex, founded by his father Martin, including as chief executive from 2016 to 2021.