THE ORIGINAL owners of this 15th-century castle are thrilled it's going to be turned into a family home once again.
White's Castle, in Athy, Kildare, was sold for €1.3m seven years ago by the Doyle family.
But on Friday it was snapped up for just €195,000 at an auction for distressed properties in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
Terry Doyle was just six years old when his parents moved his four brothers and two sisters into the historical pile on the banks of the River Barrow.
Terry (52) said his great-grandfather, John Stanley-Doyle, inherited the castle when he was a member of the RIC in 1897. Under his stewardship, Terry said the castle became inhabitable.
"I believe that the new owner is originally from Galway," Terry Doyle told the Herald. "When we moved into the castle originally, we moved from Galway, so there is a certain synergy in this.
"It is a bargain. I was worried about who would buy it. But if someone spent that, they must be going to live in it. It is going to be looked after and turned into a family home," he added.
The castle, on the banks of the River Barrow, was in the Doyle/Norman family for over 110 years before it was sold.
When Terry's father eventually inherited it - from Terry's great-aunt - he tastefully remodelled it to make the castle more habitable.
"My great aunt really only lived in one room which had a range and a bed and some furniture," he said.
In 1999 the Duke of Leinster gave Terry's father the option to buy the lease - which he did for a mere £250. After Terry's father passed away, his mother continued to live in the castle until she died. The 16-room castle and adjoining plots of land were eventually sold by Terry's family in 2005 for over €1m.
It was bought by another Athy local who stripped it back but when the recession hit, his transformation plans were scuppered.
The latest price tag for the building was just €50,000 which sparked a fierce bidding war in the sale on Friday.
"I have bought it on behalf of a friend who is from Galway and has a family," said a mystery bidder. They are in the US at the moment and intend to renovate the castle as a private property."