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'Emotional day' for family as Westport House sold to local businessmen

It was an emotional day for the Browne family, as they finalised the sale of their home.

Today, the Browne family confirmed the sale of the historic property.
Today, the Browne family confirmed the sale of the historic property.

THE HISTORIC WESTPORT house and estate has been sold to the owners of Hotel Westport.

As part of the sale, it was agreed that the future of the house and estate would be secure, with the new owners promising an investment of €50 million and the creation of 200 jobs.

The previous owners, the Browne family, said that it had been an emotional day for the family as they sold their family home.

“On the one hand,” said Sheelyn Browne, “We are handing over custody of our ancestral family home after hundreds of years but we are doing so in the knowledge that the new owners are committed to bringing to fruition the ambitions and dreams of our late and much loved father Jeremy Browne.”

The late Lord Altamont Jeremy Browne, the 11th Marquess of Sligo, wanted to developed the estate as a tourist attraction.

The estate’s new owner said they would liaise with the family as they develop our plans over the next few years.

“I want to assure all the existing staff, suppliers and customers that we will continue to operate as normal under the new ownership,” said Cathal Hughes, chairman of the Hotel Westport.

“As a local business family, we are delighted to be able to make this investment in our home town. We realise the importance of Westport house as a tourist amenity to the whole of Mayo.”

History

The estate is one of the oldest in Ireland and comprises a range of buildings and facilities. The façade of the present house dates to 1778 and has been in the ownership of the Browne family from before this time. The family traces its lineage back to the 16th Century Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley.

A report commissioned by Mayo Council by CHL Consulting in 2015 concluded that Westport House Estate directly creates 47 jobs and accounts for €50.7 million of indirect expenditure for the region. The Browne family has owned the house for almost 400 years. It has been open to the public since 1960. Westport House Estate has also shown significant growth in recent years with over 162,000 paying customers in 2014 – up 82% on the 89,000 visitors in 2009.

Read: 5 of the most amazing houses up for sale in Ireland this year

Read: What else could I get for… around €500,000?

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