The historic Kilcooley Estate, near Gortnahoe, Thurles, Co Tipperary, on the Tipperary/Kilkenny border which had previously been sold in 2008 by the Ponsonby family to the McCann family company of ‘Castleway International,’ for a reported €6 million, has once again found a new owner.
A 62 year old Newry multi-millionaire businessman and energy exploration entrepreneur of some 40 years, Mr Tommy (Tom) O’Gorman, who has global oil and gas interests, as well as being involved with Blarney Golf Resort, Cove Energy, Fastnet Oil and Gas, confirmed yesterday that he was now the new title holder.
Mr O’Gorman purchased the estate in late 2013 via Mr Marcus Magneir of Colliers for a reported €2.1m. The estate, including an important 18th century mansion, was offered for sale, via NAMA, by Colliers in 2013 and then included 1,200 acres with 950 acres leased to the Irish state-sponsored company ‘Coillte,’ mature woodland, 220 acres leased to local farmers, together with five estate staff houses, extensive courtyard buildings, a lake, boathouse and a Chapel and old Cistercian Abbey, latter which is a popular tourist attraction and continues to hold religious services.
Mr O’Gorman has also purchased, for a reported €1.5m, the freehold on the aforementioned 950 acres of forestry leased to Coillte, for which he states he has already had approaches from timber producers to purchase much of the associated forestry. Land leased to Coillte had a legal stipulation that it be returned to a proper agricultural state when the 150 year lease expired sometime in the 2080’s.
This lease is now ended after Mr O’Gorman’s €1.5m deal with Coillte and he believes the value of the land and forestry has now greatly multiplied in value, rising possibly to as much as €10 million, following his €3.6 million overall investment.
It is understood that when approached, the Irish State had declined to buy the Kilcooley estate in the early 2000’s, which today remains a national monument of great interest and which was home to the Ponsonby family since c. 1770.