herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Historic Georgian building snapped up - but price a mystery

ONe of Dublin's most historic Georgian buildings, Aldborough House on Portland Row, has been bought by a high-profile businessman.

Pat O'Donnell, whose machinery business is synonymous with sponsoring Clare hurling, has snapped up the building that had fallen into disrepair.

The purchase price is not known, but the fact that the building has a preservation order attached to it is understood to have dragged the price down.

Bank of Ireland had installed a receiver, the Grant Thornton accountant Michael McAteer, over the property in recent days on foot of a €6m exposure to the previous owner, a company connected to the property entrepreneur Philip Marley.

The receiver immediately sold the building to Mr O'Donnell.

An 18th Century building, Aldborough House was the second-biggest Georgian private residence in Dublin, surpassed in size only by Leinster House.

Its first owner was Edward Augustus Stratford, the second Earl of Aldborough, who died within three years of its completion.

Barracks

Over the years, it has had various uses. It was a school, an army barracks, and when in public ownership, a depot for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

The designer of the house, which was one of the last aristocratic mansions to be built in Dublin before the Act of Union in 1800, was William Chambers, who also designed Charlemont House in Parnell Square.

At one point, the British government took possession of the house and used it at various times as a barracks for nearly 300 men. It had space for nearly 150,000 barrels of gunpowder.

Dublin City Council previously secured €80,000 and made emergency repairs to the building.

The property was acquired in 2005 by Marley's Aldborough Developments for €4.5m.

It is considered among the most important historic surviving houses in the city, as it was the last great mansion to be built here in the second half of the 18th Century.

fdillon@herald.ie

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