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Inside the dilapidated Haughey estate that is due to be turned into a resort

The former taoiseach sold Abbeville in 2003 to settle his mounting debts.

Former taoiseach Charlie Haughey at Abbeville in 1982
Former taoiseach Charlie Haughey at Abbeville in 1982
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE NEW JAPANESE owners of Charlie Haughey’s palatial Abbeville estate have taken the first steps towards developing the property into a luxury resort.

Planning documents lodged with Fingal County Council also show several of the outbuildings in the 18th Century Kinsealy complex have fallen into disrepair ahead of the planned overhaul.

The 247-acre estate where the former taoiseach lived for over 35 years was bought by the family behind the Toyoko Inn chain of budget hotels in 2013. The buyer’s identity wasn’t revealed until earlier this year.

However plans recently filed on behalf of the company set out what would be “phase one” of a development that was likely to include a hotel and conference centre, golf course, fitness centre and other recreational facilities.

The initial stage involved overhauling the estate’s run-down stables, barn and other outbuildings, while talks between the owners and the council on a masterplan were expected to start within months.

Abbeville Inside Abbeville's main house when it was on the market in 2012

Charlie’s debts

Haughey first sold the property to Celtic Tiger developers Manor Park Homes for €45 million in 2003 to settle the legal fees from his Moriarty Tribunal appearances and a €6.3 million bill for unpaid taxes.

He was allowed to keep living there until his 2006 death as part of the deal. The developers had already been given the go ahead to build a 70-bedroom hotel, 18-hole championship golf course and 46 homes of between four and six bedrooms on the site.

But the approval expired in 2012 after the company went bust and the Japanese hoteliers eventually snapped up the property for an estimated €5.5 million.

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Charles Haughey Haughey at Abbeville in 1995 Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

These images supplied with the application show the state of dilapidation many of the outlying buildings have fallen into:

Inside the dilapidated Haughey estate that is due to be turned into a resort
1 / 7
  • Stable yard northern range

  • Inside the northern range

  • Southern range

  • Abbeville barn

  • Barn roof

  • Western range

  • Western range

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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