A DERELICT “loo with a view” at the seaside resort of Lahinch yesterday scooped €400,000 for Clare County Council at a public auction in Ennis.
There was no shortage of bidders on the property known locally as the “old toilets” at the auction in the Old Ground Hotel.
John Galvin of Ennis-based construction firm Galvin Construction Ltd bought the site “with unrivalled and unparalleled sea views” after his nearest bidder declined to go over the €400,000 mark.
Cllr Martin Conway (FG), who represents the area, said last night that the price realised for the site was “quite incredible”.
He said: “I’m aghast at the price.
“It is startling and shows that prices in Lahinch are immune from any economic downturn.”
With 23 metres of “sea frontage”, auctioneer David Costelloe said “the development potential of this site is very obvious”.
Before bidding began, Mr Galvin – who owns an adjoining property on Lahinch prom – raised concerns over the impact the development of the “old toilets” site could have on his own property.
“According to planning, you can’t block a person’s view or light. I just want it noted.”
Mr Costelloe said that was a matter to be dealt with through planning.
The site could suit a mixed commercial development or residential scheme. Speaking after purchasing the site, Mr Galvin said he has not yet decided upon what plans he has for the site.
Asked was he happy with the price paid, Mr Galvin said: “I would be happy if I got it for cheaper, but that’s the way it goes.”
Director of the environment for the council, Ger Dollard, said that the local authority is “pleased with the price obtained”.
The money from the sale is to be directed towards the provision of facilities for surfers at Lahinch and the upgrading of the prom area.
Mr Dollard saying that the works should be well advanced for the 2009 season.
Cllr Conway said that it was now important that the upgrading of Lahinch prom “proceed without delay”.