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Village People

Why settle for just a house? This entire village in Kildare is for sale

The village was restored and developed by Ryanair founder Tony Ryan… but only those with seriously deep pockets need apply.

AN ENTIRE VILLAGE restored by aviation entrepreneur Tony Ryan is back on the market just under a year after his heirs first flagged a sale.

The Village at Lyons, a popular wedding venue that neighbours the Ryan family’s 600-acre Lyons Demesne Estate in Co Kildare, has been put on sale with an asking price of over €6 million.

That represents only a fraction of the amount the billionaire Ryanair founder, who died in 2007, spent developing the complex of cut-stone buildings, some dating back to the 18th century.

Agents Colliers International are selling the village as a “profitable business with scope to expand”, including a cafe, cookery school, restaurant, bars and function room.

It also includes nine houses and four apartments – several of which are rented to private residents – as well as 14 hotel suites on the 16-acre property.


The future purchaser will also walk away with an “extensive range of antique furnishings and paintings” worth an estimated €370,000.

Colliers said a company buyer might have the option to take over part of the property in a company transfer “which would contain valuable losses”.

Agent Marcus Magnier said anyone who bought the property would probably want to develop it further – as had been Ryan’s original idea.


“This was just the first stage; it was all part of Tony Ryan’s plan for developing the area,” he said.

I think anyone going in there will see that you need to be able to cater to good-sized weddings.”

But Magnier said it was unlikely anyone would be able to justify building further homes or facilities on the property to the same exacting standards Ryan had maintained due to the high costs involved.


A Ryan legacy

The main buildings on-site, the mill and mill house, had fallen into disrepair before Ryan bought the property in the 1990s and began the process of restoration and development.

The business is now owned outright by the aviation pioneer’s son, Declan, whose interests include low-cost airlines in Asia, Mexico and Latin America, and investments in startup fund Frontline Ventures and bio-tech fund Growcorp.

ENTREPRENEURS DR TONY RYAN FOUNDER OF RYANAIR CHEAP FARES AIRLINES EUROPES LARGEST ECONOMY CARRIERS Ryanair founder Tony Ryan (right) with then-Sunday Tribune editor Vincent Browne in 1992 Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

He took over the one-third shares of his brother Shane and the deceased estate of third sibling, Cathal, in June last year – about the same time the property was put on the market for the first time.

The family’s nearby estate was also put up for sale in 2009 for an asking price of €60 million, although that figure was later trimmed to €30 million. It was pulled from the market last year after a deal with a prospective Irish buyer fell through.

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