LIMERICK’S iconic Sacred Heart Jesuit Church is to go on the market for the knockdown price of €800,000 - just a fraction of the reputed €4 million that now-deceased Galway developer John O’Dolan paid for the property in March 2006.
Local auctioneer Gordon Kearney, of Rooneys Auctioneers, has confirmed that the church was to go on the market and that Rooneys, together with Bannon in Dublin, had been appointed joint-agents for the sale of the 25,000 square foot property.
While Mr Kearney declined to specify the reserve price on the building, which is being offered for sale by private treaty by receiver Grant Thornton, the Chronicle understands from an industry expert that it will start at €800,000, and could fetch close to €1 million, still some way short of the reported €4 million it sold for in 2006.
Mr Kearney said the property was “unique” and “the chance of a lifetime” for an investor. He said that Rooneys had received “considerable interest” in the church already, despite not being yet listed. “It is a unique property, and when it last came on the market it was a chance of a lifetime – but circumstances change and the chance in a lifetime has come back very quickly.
“I know at the previous time that it was sold that there were a number of interested parties and they have come back in the last few months and expressed interest again. It is protected, and it does need considerable refurbishment, but for that kind of space in the city centre, it is a unique opportunity for the right end user and we have identified some of them that we will be targeting,” he added.
Mr Kearney said the space would be ideal for a church, of which at least one are understood to be interested, as are community groups, local arts companies, colleges and commercial ventures such as local accountants and solicitors.