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.
The video shown above is taken at one of Tipperary’s most picturesque and pure waterways, situated in a beautiful dense natural occurring wooded area, adjacent to the banks of the Clare River and known to visitors worldwide as ‘The Clare Glens.’
Latter forms a natural boundary dividing Counties Tipperary and Limerick and is an area of outstanding natural beauty, attracting walkers and hikers from across Ireland and further afield.
A contract for the upgrading and conservation of this area has now been signed with effect from Friday last, April 4th, in association with Northern Landscapes and work is set to get under way in the near future.
This proposed work will now greatly improve this magnificent local amenity, which due to natural weather erosion had been slowly losing its full accessibility and splendour.
People here in Thurles, Co Tipperary will be well aware of the close historic connections the town holds with the British Royal Family, Thurles being the latter’s true Ancestral Home. Indeed their many ancestors are buried in St. Mary’s Famine Museum Church and its outer graveyard here in Thurles.
(Please click on images Left & Right for greater magnification.)
This week Ireland’s ninth and current President, Mr Michael D. Higgins Irish: Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn) together with his wife Sabina, are enjoying a State visit to England, having entered Windsor Castle and meet many powerful dignitaries, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
During this visit President Higgins told a State Banquet at Windsor Castle that this first state visit of a President of Ireland to the United Kingdom “was a very visible sign of the warmth and maturity of the relationship between our two countries” thus marking a transformation in English / Irish relations.
“Through conquest and resistance, we have cast shadows on each other, but we have also gained strength from one another as neighbours and, most especially, from the contribution of those who have travelled between our islands in recent decades,” he stated. “While the past must be respectfully recognised it must not imperil the potential of the present or the possibilities of the future,” he said. “We must, however, never forget those who died, were bereaved, or injured, during the tragic conflict,” he continued.
President Higgins said the warm welcome he had received was “very deeply felt and appreciated.”
To mark this most important and historic State visit to Great Britain why not view host Dermot O’Leary for a showcase of Irish culture, Ceiliúradh (English; ‘Celebration’), at The Royal Albert Hall. The evening will celebrate Ireland’s long-standing cultural connections with Britain.
Performers will include Imelda May, Fiona Shaw, Joseph O’Connor and Glen Hansard. The event will be streamed live on the internet tonight on RTÉ Player from 8:25pm.
If you miss it tonight, don’t worry you can catch the highlights on BBC4 this coming Sunday at 8.00pm.
Brian Ború’s birthplace and the seat of his High Kingship of Ireland from 1001-1014AD will this weekend host a programme of events marking the 1000th year anniversary of his death.
Visitors to the twin towns of Killaloe, Co Clare and Ballina, Co Tipperary are being invited to step back in time and experience a glimpse of life in medieval Ireland during the Brian Ború Millennium Weekend, which kicks off tomorrow (Friday) and continues through Sunday.
Battle re-enactments, Viking boat tours on the River Shannon, theatre, walking tours and music will bring the town’s medieval heritage and links to Brian Ború to life during the festival, which is being funded by Clare County Council, North Tipperary County Council and CLDC, Dept. of Heritage, Waterways Ireland, IPB Youth & Community Fund, Failte Ireland, Lakelands and Inland Waterways.
The Brian Ború Millennium Weekend is one of the flagship events of the Brian Ború Programme 2014. The all-island initiative features a series of commemorations in the four main locations with connections to the life and High Kingship of Brian Ború; namely Killaloe Ballina which was the seat of Brian’s High Kingship of Ireland (1001-1014AD), Cashel where Brian was crowned High King of Ireland, Clontarf where Brian was killed following his victory over the Viking rulers of Dublin at the Battle of Clontarf, and the City of Armagh where Brian is buried.
Mayor of Clare Councillor Mr Joe Arkins commented: “Clare County Council is delighted to partner with the local community of Killaloe Ballina in celebrating the life and achievements of one of its most famous citizens. The Millennium Weekend forms part of a national Programme which the Council is delighted to lead in an effort to ensure that the Brian Ború millennial anniversary is established as an important cultural and tourism activity which lays the platform for further cultural and tourism development in future years.”
Mayor Arkins noted that Clare County Council will also be holding its April monthly meeting next Monday in Killaloe, which he said “was once the de-facto capital of Ireland.”
According to Ms Úna Kierse, Chairperson of the Killaloe Ballina Millennium Weekend: “The people of Killaloe and Ballina are deeply proud of their close links with an individual who is arguably one of the most high profile and influential figures in Irish history. Planning for this weekend’s festival has been ongoing for over a year and we are delighted to be able to showcase our towns’ rich heritage to a wider audience, which we hope will have long-lasting, positive consequences for tourism in the area for years to come.”
Ms. Kierse said: “Visitors will be spoiled for things to do, with art, theatre, games, historical re-enactments, puppetry, music, sport and food all on offer across the twin towns over the weekend, which is just one of many cultural highlights in a busy calendar of Ború themed fare.”
The Brian Ború Millennium Weekend gets underway tomorrow evening (Friday, 11th April) when re-enactors depicting Brian Ború and key characters from the time await the arrival of their Viking allies by longboat to Ballina Quay on the shores of Lough Derg.
At midday on Saturday 12th April, a guided historical walk will take place around Brian Ború’s Killaloe, punctuated by specially commissioned theatrical performances featuring up to 80 re-enactors from all over Ireland. The 90-minute tour will introduce participants to Brian Ború’s story and his life in Killaloe 1000 years ago. St. Flannan’s Cathedral in Killaloe will host an evening of drama and music at 8.00pm on Saturday April 12th. Re-enactors, accompanied by old and contemporary music, will relive scenes from the life of Brian, his troublesome wife Gormlaith, his inspiring Goddess Aoibheal, and his faithful son Murrough. A series of other events are also scheduled for Sunday April 13th, including a “Pig on the Spit” medieval feast.
For a full schedule of events, including ticketing and times, visit www.killaloeballina.ie, www.brianborumillennium.ie/or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel chain Dalata confirmed today that it is taking over the operations of the 18th century old Dundrum House Hotel, set in the heart of the Golden Vale, after it emerged the luxury period residence was about to be placed in Receivership.
This deeply regretted yet necessary intervention is now expected to save employment for up to one hundred full and part time staff, many of which are employed from the Thurles area, at this truly landmark venue.
The hotel was first established by Mr Austin Crowe in 1981 and had expanded greatly in the intervening years under his guidance, creating one of the finest hotel locations in Co Tipperary.
As its large clientèle will fully attest, Dundrum House Hotel perfectly combined an 18th century old world charm with every convenience one could expect; placed at their finger tips by this luxury resort. The present complex includes a Health and Leisure Centre, Championship Golf Course, spacious Accommodation and many modern state of the art Holiday Homes. Contained within its distinguished atmosphere and portrayed, through its present highly efficient staffing, Dundrum House exudes an extremely warm Irish hospitality. Dundrum House Hotel also boasts an enviable and truly renowned reputation as a central Conference and Wedding Destination, situated as it is on a manicured 200 acre site; latter regarded by photographers and videographers alike, as the dream events destination.
However like many businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector, particularly here in Co Tipperary, the country’s economic downturn over the past number of years plus the neglect of our tourism sector by governments and local elected officials, in relation to the heartland of Ireland, same has now impacted wholly negative on this Dundrum House Hotel complex.
NOTE: We understand that while receivers were appointed earlier this week, business will continue as normal at the Dundrum Hotel Complex, with no interruptions to trade and all customer bookings, deposits and memberships continuing be honoured in full.