Over the last few weeks we have seen a number of historical homes listed for sale in the US and now it is the turn of Ireland. The Guinness family’s ancestral holiday home just outside Dublin is now available for purchase at just £24 million. So, what you get with this 18th-century lodge just 30 miles from the hustle and bustle of Dublin?
Privacy and luxury at Luggala
The property is renowned as part of the Guinness legacy which dominates the Irish business community. It is currently owned by Garech Browne, a 77-year-old record producer and founder of Claddagh Records. While the Guinness name may have disappeared, it is worth remembering that Arthur Guinness was the great, great, great-grandfather of Garech Browne.
We can only imagine what tales the property could tell when you remember the likes of the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Bono, Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston have all lay their weary heads at the Luggala Lodge. The property itself has undergone a number of redevelopments over the years having once been modelled on Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. However, in 1996 a £5 million restoration brought the property back to its original Gothic style. Many people forget that this property has actually been used as a backdrop to an array of movies.
What exactly do you get for your money?
While £24 million is an awful lot of money to spend on a “lodge” this is not your traditional holiday home. Originally built in the 18th century and updated over the years, the property is set on a 5000 acre estate with seven bedrooms and three reception rooms in the main home. There are an additional four bedrooms in the guest lodge and the additional seven lodges and cottages offer a further 16 bedrooms. Each of the venues is dotted around the 5000 acre estate to give privacy and peace to those who visit.
The decor in the main building would not be out of place in Buckingham Palace offering a very regal and a very stylish backdrop. We can only imagine the gentry who have laid their weary heads on the plush sofas, enjoyed the riproaring heat from the fire and looked out across the sprawling acreage.
Should Luggala be sold?
Such is the esteem in which Luggala is held by the Irish community that the proposed sale has created a very passionate argument. While this is obviously part of the Guinness legacy (a very important era for the Irish business community) many believe it should actually be classed as a national treasure. The £24 million pricetag may seem expensive but when you bear in mind the overall package there is expected to be much interest from the UK and overseas.
There is a growing call for the Irish government to step forward to acquire Luggala as a national treasure but, with a £24 million pricetag, is it a justifiable use of taxpayer’s money? It will be interesting to see exactly what happens to the property, whether the government is forced to step in or whether a deal can be done with the modern day Guinness family. Either way, Luggala certainly has a place in the hearts of the Irish community and will leave its legacy whether as a national treasure or a beautiful investment for a private investor.