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Billionaire John Paul Getty Sells His Tipperary Home

Billionaire John Paul Getty III is selling his one hundred acre estate, Gurthalougha House, on the shores of Lough Derg here in Co Tipperary.

Mr Getty is the grandson of John Paul Getty, the American industrialist who founded Getty Oil and was once declared America’s richest man. Latter at one time famously installed a coin operated telephone in his New York mansion.

Getty Irish Residence in Tipperary

As a teenager John Paul Getty III was kidnapped by Sicilian bandits in the 1970s. When his grandfather refused to pay the $17 million ransom, he received a further demand with an envelope containing the ear and a lock of hair of the 16 year old. Following this a ransom of $2.9 million was paid and John Paul III was restored to the bosom of his family. His kidnappers, supposedly linked with the ‘Ndrangheta, were never caught. In 1981, a prescription drug overdose resulted in a stroke which left Mr Getty permanently paralyzed and nearly blind.

The Victorian house is a short boat ride away from the beautiful village of  Terryglass, Nenagh and has been the hideaway for Mr Getty and his mother Mrs Gail Harris Getty, on and off, for the past 12 year, since the property was purchased and  restored in 1998.

Mr Getty, who is aged 53 and wheelchair bound, now will spend his time living between UK, USA and Italy, and has already begun to move the bulk of the properties furniture and paintings to their family’s other homes.

The house, a former Hidden Ireland guest-house was purchased for €1.27 million following the acquisition by several members of the Getty family, of Irish passports under the infamous “Passports for Investment” scheme just before the latter was abolished. Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, also purchased eleven Irish passports in 1990 as part of this scheme. Latter was handled personally by the then Fianna Fail Taoiseach, Charles J Haughey. Later Sheikh Mahfouz is understood to have invested £3m in Kerry Airport and a further £3m to help pay for projects associated with companies owned by the Millstreet,Co Cork business entrepreneur Noel C Duggan.

The house, which is set well back from the main road and almost invisible, except from the lake side view, contains 12 bedrooms and is understood to be in immaculate condition.

Co. Tipperary is home to many of the worlds rich and famous who seek privacy in a “get away from it all” environment.

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