We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Loughton House in Offaly, the country residence of Fine Gael deputy leader Dr James Reilly and his wife Dorothy. Ganly Walters
Life of Reilly

James Reilly is selling his HUGE palatial mansion for €2.75 million

Since 2001, Reilly and his wife Dorothy have slept in “The King’s Bed”, a royal sleigh bed carved out of oak for the visit of King George IV to Ireland in 1821.

FINE GAEL DEPUTY leader James Reilly is selling his huge palatial country pile for €2.75 million.

Reilly and his wife Dorothy, a former RTÉ makeup artist, have owned the mansion, built in 1777, since 2001. The couple sleep in “the King’s Bed’, a royal sleigh bed carved out of oak for for King George IV’s visit to Ireland in 1821.

When he bought the property in 2001, Reilly said, in an interview with The Irish Times:

I jumped into the bed, punched the air and said ‘Feck you, Your Majesty; Paddy is back’.

Back then, Reilly was a north Dublin GP then, and has since ascended to, and descended from, the Cabinet table as Minister for Health.

He is now a Senator, having been handpicked by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to take a seat in the Seanad after losing his Dublin Fingal seat earlier this year.

He remains Fine Gael deputy leader, despite Frances Fitzgerald acting as Tánaiste – a fact that has caused tensions within the party.

James Reilly Reilly, then Children's MInister, after losing his seat in Dublin Fingal to Sinn Fein.

Thirteen bedrooms

On the market for over a year now, Loughton House is described by the estate agents as:

One of Ireland’s finest historic Georgian residences and gardens in a wonderful countryside setting surrounded by excellent quality rolling parkland, arable land, spectacular woodland and streams.

The whole lot comprises 157 acres, and buyers can choose between buying the whole lot, or just buying the house and 87 acres.

The four-storey house has 13 bedrooms, and comes complete with a tea room, drawing room, library, dining room, sitting room, ‘stone rooms’, two pantries, a staff hall, a games room, a wine cellar, laundry rooms, two dressing rooms and “various store rooms”.

Reilly 3 Ganly Walters. Ganly Walters.

Norman castle

The 15,000 square-foot house sits on 82 acres outside the village of Moneygall in Co Offaly, one of many places counted as an ancestral homeland by Barack Obama.

It also comes with three lodges, seven stables, tennis courts, an orchard, coach houses and the ruins of a Norman castle.

The estate is for sale by private treaty through estate agents Ganly Walters, with an asking price of €2.75 million for the house and lands.

Buyers can also bid for the house with 87 acres, or a separate lot of 70 acres.

Reilly 5 The ruins of a Norman castle and other features at Loughton House. Ganly Walters Ganly Walters

Vinegar Hill

Loughton House was built in 1777. Former owners included the 1st Baron Bloomfield, who helped to fight the Irish rebels at Vinegar Hill during the 1798 United Irishman rebellion.

His son, the second Lord Bloomfield, also owned the property and served as a British ambassador to Russia in the 19th century.

In the hallway, a wooden oak trunk – now used for logs – is stencilled with the name of “Lieut Col J.W. Atkinson, Royal King’s County Regiment”.

Reilly 1 Ganly Walters Ganly Walters

Anger management

Reilly said that he has undertaken restoration work at weekends, including shovelling “tons of earth from the basement” and planting 8,000 trees.

The Senator says he has also converted an old coach house into a reception room capable of hosting 100 people. He also said he will miss chopping logs, which he describes as useful for “anger management”.

Reilly 3 Ganly Walters Ganly Walters

There is an airstrip on the estate, built by the previous owner a retired British army major named Guy Atkinson. A vine on the estate is still producing grapes 150 years after being gifted by Britain’s Queen-Empress Victoria to the second Lord Bloomfield as a wedding present.

Fifteen years ago, Reilly and his wife bought some of the contents – assembled by previous owners over 200 years – and have since added to the collection.

Reilly grounds Ganly Walters Ganly Walters

Letters on display in the library include one from Rudyard Kipling dated 1 August 1916.

Sheppard’s Irish Auction House will auction art, antiques, antiquarian books and collectibles from Loughton House in an on-site auction in September.

Read: French court suspends burkini ban after challenge

Read: Up to 1,400 people have turned up to see a pastor who claims prayer can ‘cure’ gay people

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.