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Bord Gáis theatre sold for €28m to Celtic Tiger winners

Couple who made millions selling hotels before the crash buy theatre which cost €80m to build.

THE BORD GÁIS theatre has been sold for the bargain-basement price of €28 million – a fraction of what it cost developers to build.

The property, Ireland’s biggest theatre, went to a Dublin couple who made a killing selling hotels at the peak of the Celtic Tiger boom.

John and Bernadette “Bernie” Gallagher, the daughter of hotel tycoon PV Doyle, are believed to have snapped up the 2,100-capacity theatre at the price – close to a third of its €80 million development cost.

BERNADETTE GALLAGHER JURYS HOTELS AGM BUSINESS WOMEN PORTRAIT LANDSCAPE Bernadette Gallagher, pictured at a Jurys Doyle AGM in 2005. Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Gallagher’s firm Crownway Investments was previously behind the €1.16 billion deal to sell the Jurys Inn chain to Quinlan Private – the property speculators headed by Derek Quinlan – in 2007.

From Swan Lake to Nama

Their latest buy was put on the market nearly three months ago with a guide price of €20 million but the winning buyers sealed the deal after beating out several other bidders.

The Daniel Libeskind-designed theatre in Dublin’s docklands area opened in 2010 with a Russian State Ballet performance of Swan Lake.

Dublin Grand Canal Theatre The then Grand Canal Theatre all lit up for opening night in 2010. Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bad bank NAMA took over the property, which used to be known as the Grand Canal Theatre, after the companies behind it went into receivership last year.

Bord Gáis took over naming rights in 2011 in a deal worth about €4.5 million.

READ: Receivers appointed to companies behind former Grand Canal Theatre and Point Village

READ: Bord Gáis secures naming rights to Grand Canal Theatre

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