Friday, 27 April 2007

1,400 acres on Dingle peninsula for over €5m

Landholdings: A large landholding along the Conor Pass, including a lake
featured in the film of The Field, will interest wealthy individuals and the State,
given its potential as a park, writes Jack Fagan .
One of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Ireland with 1,400 acres
along the Conor Pass on the Dingle peninsula in Co Kerry is to be offered for
sale on the international market.
It is one of the largest land holdings to go for sale in recent years and includes
400 acres of mature forest. The remaining 1,000 acres are mainly located in a
valley though there is also mountain grazing lands.
Joint selling agents DTZ Sherry FitzGerald in Limerick and Jim O'Shea
Auctioneers will today begin marketing what they describe as "one of the most
unique properties in Ireland". It is being sold for an American owner and is
expected to fetch over €5 million.
With the general election in the offing, local politicians are likely to come
under pressure to persuade the Government to acquire the land for the
purposes of setting up a national park.
The Conor Pass is known to millions of tourists as one of the most beautiful
and panoramic driving routes in the south of Ireland.
It is the second highest pass in Ireland and adjoins the village of Cloghane
which has a population of about 300. Driving over the pass, there are
magnificent views over Brandon Bay and the Atlantic ocean as well as over
Dingle town. The lands are largely at the foot of Mount Brandon, running all
the way to the Owenmore fishery which forms the western boundary.
The Conor Pass acts as a stunning southern boundary while Sliabh Mhacha
Re marks the eastern boundary. The extensive holding includes three lakes:
Lough Atlea; Lough Clogharee; and the famous Pedlar's Lake which was
used as the backdrop in the filming of The Field. The property has a wide
range of flora and fauna and, as well as the established forestry, the lands
sustain a herd of Connemara ponies and a diversity of wildlife.
There are various ruins scattered about the land, possibly opening the way for
a house to be built at one of the access points from the Conor Pass road.
Forestry land in the area is valued at between €5,000 and €6,000 an acre
and, according to the selling agents, there is scope to increase the acreage of
land under forestry. About a year ago, the six-mile long Owenmore river and
the adjoining 300 acres are believed to have been sold to the Roche family for
over €2.5 million.
John Buckley, director of DTZ Sherry Fitz-Gerald, said a property of such
outstanding natural beauty rarely comes to the market. "Without doubt, this
holding is a world heritage site and will generate phenomenal national and
international interest."
Jim O'Shea, a specialist in forestry and development land, said the potential
for this landholding was endless. It could be acquired by the private sector for
an eco-tourism-based venture, as a private nature reserve or as an estate. In
addition, the State may well consider the acquisition of the land for a national
© 2007 The Irish Times

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