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Dublin: 16°C Wednesday 18 May 2022

New owner of Rockhill wants people to tell him what to do with former army barracks

John Molloy wants to make the manor house the new Lissadell.

Image: iPetitions

THE FORMER DEFENCE Forces barracks in Donegal has been sold for €670,000, almost three times its reserve price.

Rockhill House, which was used as an army barracks until 2009, was bought at a public auction by local businessman John Molloy.

The guide price was set at just €260,000 but needed to be dropped to €200,000 to kick off the afternoon sale. Once it started though, the offers kept rolling in and the bidding war only stopped after more than 80 bids.

The auction was held on site on Thursday and about 100 people, including former officers, turned out to the event.

“It is sad to see the condition of the place, but I am glad to see it sold to somebody who seems determined to bring it to its former glory,” retired colonel Declan O’Carroll told the Donegal Democrat.

He noted that the place, which sits on 29.6 acres, had fallen into disrepair over the past five years.

Donegal County Council had looked at buying the property from the Department of Defence but cited maintenance costs as its main reason for not following through.

Molloy has said he will be consulting people in the area about what he should do with the property.

He told Highland Radio that a Facebook page will be set up in the coming days so people could voice their ideas and opinions.

The Natural Dairies and Yeats Country Foods owner wants to restore the 17th-century manor house with a view to allowing visitors.

He also wants people who may have links to the house and former soldiers to get in touch.

Selling agents, Sherry FitzGerald Rainey, said the price level achieved “provides further confirmation of an uplift in market sentiment” in Donegal.

The county’s property market was decimated by the crash and it is the only county not see rent values rise in recent months.

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