THE lands housing the now defunct Limerick County Golf and Country Club are close to being sold, it is understood.
A number of parties have met in recent weeks with the liquidator of the course, which incorporates over 185 acres of land in Ballyneety, and it is thought that negotiations to purchase the site are at an “advanced stage” with at least one of the potential buyers.
The Garda Sports and Social club in Limerick are well known to be interested and are thought to be involved in the advanced nature of the discussions, as are a group of farmers in the locality - who would have conflicting intentions for the course.
The gardai would need the approval of a majority of their members before agreeing to any purchase.
All of those involved in the negotiations were remaining tight lipped this week, but Gearoid Costelloe, managing partner of Grant Thornton, the liquidator appointed to Limerick County Golf and Country Club Limited and tasked with the disposal of the lands, confirmed that he “met with a number of potential buyers before Christmas and I will be meeting with them again in January”.
He said that there was still plenty of interest in the facility and the chief intention was to return it to its former use as a golf club.
“I can’t say any more than I will be talking to those interested over the coming weeks,” added Mr Costelloe.
While the most serious of the potential bidders are keen to re-open the Des Smyth designed course, it remains to be seen if this will come to fruition, as at least one other party is keen on returning the lands to agricultural use.
A source said: “It is not sold, but it is very close - negotiations are at an advanced stage. It will take a lot of money to restore the course at this stage however”.
The course was opened to much fanfare by then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in 1994 but was wound up in February 2011 with more than €2.5 million in debts.
*See the Limerick Leader weekend edition for a full version of this story