Ryanair founder Tony Ryan's home on the market for just £25m despite £80m spent on improvements
- Just three years ago estate owned by Tony Ryan was valued at £63.5million
By Claire Gorman
PUBLISHED: 06:37 EST, 9 July 2012 | UPDATED: 06:46 EST, 9 July 2012
Ryanair founder Tony Ryan’s grand estate is on the market for £25.5million – just three years after it was valued at £63.5million.
Mr Ryan bought Lyons Demesne in Co. Kildare for £3.5million 16 years ago and despite its change in fortunes, it is still the most expensive house on the market.
The £38million drop in value represents the largest reduction ever seen in the Irish property sector. By May 2010, its value had fallen from £63.5million to £40million.
The sale is being handled by Sherry FitzGerald and the estate is being marketed internationally by Christie’s Great Estates.
Mansion: Tony Ryan bought Lyons Demesne in Co. Kildare for £3.5million 16 years ago
Estate: Tony Ryan died in 2007
It is believed that Mr Ryan spent £79.5million restoring the main house, replanting the formal gardens and introducing an equestrian centre.
When he died in October 2007, the house was left to his sons Declan and Cathal.
His project to transform the property, which involved more than 100 builders, architects and landscape gardeners working for two years, won a European heritage award in 2001 from Europa Nostra, an organisation dedicated to preserving Europe’s finest architectural heritage.
When Lyons Demense first came on the market, a spokesman said the Ryans were seeking ‘a suitable custodian who will continue to care for the property’.
When Cathal died, three months after his father’s death, his share was split between his four children. The contents of the house have already been sold.
The estate includes a swimming pool, an orangery and frescoes by Gaspare Gabrielli.
It also has a private cinema, helicopter landing pad, traditional Irish pub and gym. The main house includes seven self-contained suites and a guest wing with four bedrooms. Staff quarters are in the north wing.
There are five lodges in the grounds and a 220-acre spring-fed lake stocked with trout. Dublin is a 45-minute drive away.
The house was built in 1785 by wool merchant Nicholas Lawless, the first Baron Cloncurry. He was succeeded in 1799 by his son Valentine, a leading supporter of Robert Emmet who had spent his time in exile buying up art and ancient treasures, many of which were lost in a shipwreck off Wicklow.
Expensive taste: The estate includes a swimming pool, an orangery and frescoes by Gaspare Gabrielli
Fine dining: It is believed that Mr Ryan spent £79.5million restoring the main house
In 1807 Valentine Lawless brought an infamous action for ‘criminal conversation’ (adultery) against Sir John Bennett Piers. The nobleman had seduced Lady Georgiana Clon-curry as a bet but had been witnessed by the painter Gabrielli while he was at work on his frescoes.
The nearby palatial house and six-acre estate owned by Tony Ryan’s granddaughter Danielle is also up for sale. The daughter of Cathal Ryan is selling Stacumny House in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. She married Richard Bourke in a lavish wedding ceremony in London in February.
The actress’s big day took place in the heart of upmarket London, just a couple of hundred yards from the Harrods department store in London’s famous Brompton Oratory.
Some 270 guests were invited to the ceremony, which is believed to have cost more than €100,000. Guests dined in the Royal Opera House and partied afterwards in celebrity hotspot Chinawhite.
She and Richard have lived at Stacumny House with their two children. It comes with a €6.5million price tag, has eight bedrooms, a 90-seat theatre and a traditional-style pub called Ryan’s Snug. It also has a Moroccan-themed swimming pool complex and an all-weather tennis court.
Collector: The walls of the house and adorned with works of art