Bidding war anticipated as Slieve Russell goes up for sale with £30m price tag

Seán Quinn’s former showpiece Co Cavan hotel resort features an 18-hole championship golf course

Exterior of the Slieve Russell Hotel showing lawns and a fountain in front.
The Slieve Russell Hotel has gone on the market with a £30 million price tag.

The Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan has gone up for sale with a €35 million (£30m) price tag.

The four-star golf resort and country club in Ballyconnell, once formed the showpiece of former billionaire Seán Quinn’s business empire in the Fermanagh and Cavan border region.

The asking price for the hotel, which sits in a 300-acre country estate, is higher than previously reported.

But it is expected to trigger a bidding war between Irish and international investors.

Cavan-born businessman and one-time Irish presidential candidate Sean Gallagher is expected to be among the bidders.

In an interview with The Currency in January, the former TV personality confirmed he had appointed advisers from Savills to support his bid.

However, he maintained he would only progress the offer with Sean Quinn’s blessing.

Image of lush green golf fairways and trees in the Slieve Russell estate.
The Slieve Russell’s 18-hole championship course is one of just eight PGA national-designated resorts in the world.

The Slieve Russell has been under control of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) since 2011.

It has remained profitable and around €7.5m has been invested in upgrading the resort since 2019.

With capacity for up to 1,000 guests, the 224-bedroom hotel remains a popular choice for weddings and events in the border region.

The sale is being conducted by CBRE on behalf IBRC liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of Interpath Advisory.

Opened in 1990, the Ballyconnell resort features 50 acres of lakes and is considered one of the island’s best parkland golf courses.

Designed by Patrick Merrigan, its 18-hole championship course is one of just eight PGA national-designated resorts in the world.

The Slieve Russell’s golf assets also includes a nine-hole academy course, a three-bay floodlit driving range, a putting green and a practice area.

Those assets could attract interest from US investor AJ Capital, which has already snapped up a number of Irish and Scottish golf resorts under its Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts brand in recent years.

Aerial image showing the hotel and surrounding parkland.
The Slieve Russell sits in a 300-acre country estate in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, close to the border with Fermanagh.

The US group paid around £40m in 2021 to buy the five star Slieve Donard resort in Newcastle, Co Down.

Commenting on the Slieve Russell listing, Paul Collins, who heads CBRE’s hotel division said: “This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of Irelands best known and highly profitable resort hotels.

“The scale of ongoing investment in the hotel’s facilities and its growing business will appeal to the national and international investment market.”

The Slieve Russell listing comes just days after another major Irish golf resort hit the commercial property market.

The five-star Mount Juliet estate in Kilkenny has been put up for sale by its owners, Tetrarch Capital, with a guide price of €45m (£38.7m).

The 125-bedroom hotel and golf resort was originally bought for €15m (£13m) in 2014.