THE owners of Kinsale’s Ballinacurra House have been at the receiving end of a tirade of abuse and threats during the pandemic, having to cancel bookings for weddings and events.
As their landmark property goes up for sale, Des McGahan described the past 12 months as ‘devastating,’ and one which has cost them, like others, a lot of money.
‘We managed around 100 events last year, through booking and rebooking, which never happened,’ he said.
And while that wasn’t the deciding factor for Des, and his wife Lisa, to put their private estate on the market, it did influence it.
The estate, where Michael Jackson infamously stayed, and were Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wanted to stay except it was already booked up, is for sale with an asking price of €6.35m.
Des and Lisa bought and totally transformed the period property 20 years ago and pioneered the concept of private rental in this country. The cost of renting it exclusively for a week would set you back around €40,000 and it’s also a popular wedding destination.
The couple always said it would be a 20 year project, and the challenges of the past year convinced them they were making the right decision.
‘But in crisis comes opportunity and even before it went on the market we were getting enquiries from people asking if we would sell,’ said Des.
Already interest has come from an Irish based, international corporation interested in the estate as a hybrid working hub and from someone interested in it as a writers retreat.
‘We’ve also had interest from the US from someone who thinks it would suit a multi-generational compound – different generations of the same family living in the one place,’ said Des. ‘The single biggest problem now though is that people cant get in to see it for themselves,’ he said.
The estate comprises a Georgian 14-bed mansion, a four-bed cottage, a four-bed coach house and a six-bed lodge, 25 acres of lawns, fields, private woodland, stables, jetty, river rights and, of course, a private helipad. See knightfrank.co.uk for more.