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Apartments withdrawn after one bid... of €106 each

An auction of 47 luxury apartments in a single lot in Donegal collapses, after there’s just one bid: €5,000 for the building.

A DONEGAL AUCTIONEER was yesterday forced to cancel an auction selling off 47 unfinished luxury apartments – after receiving only one bid, of €5,000 for the entire building.

Dermot Rainey, of Sherry Fitzgerald Rainey in Letterkenny, was selling off the block of apartments at Navenny Place, Ballybofey, amid protests from local builders and subcontractors who had complained about unpaid wages in respect of the development.

After developer Dessie McFeeley implored potential bidders not to acquire the development – urging bidders “to have a bit of common decency and allow these men to get their house in order” – the auction got underway, but with apparently little enthusiasm from interested parties.

Rainey told the crowd that the initial bid from the floor of €5,000 – or €106.38 for each – was not acceptable.

“I have the law. I will not take a starter of €5,000,” he said, the Irish Daily Mirror reports. “Do I hear a bid of even €500,000?”

Referencing the original asking price of the property – which is now listed on the auctioneer’s website for €550,000 plus VAT – he went on: “We have a procedure. Even €400,000? Or €300,000?

“If I don’t get an opener of €300,000 we will withdraw. We will withdraw from auction. There is no point in me staring at you and you staring at me.” Withdrawing the property from sale, he later admitted to being “disappointed” at how the proceedings had unfolded.

McFeeley said that while the “people selling this property today say that they are only doing their job [...] that’s what the Germans said during the holocaust.”

Brendan Dunnion of Navenny Developments, the builders of the complex, said many of his former staff were now living from day to day while they remained unpaid for their work.

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Gavan Reilly

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