Maureen Haughey, the wife of former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey, left more than 9m in her will. Mrs Haughey, who resided at Haley’s Hill, Kinsealy, Dublin, died on March 17, 2017 at the age of 91.
Mrs Haughey left the contents of her home and all her personal belongings to her daughter Eimear, with the residue of her estate to be divided among her four children, Eimear, Conor, Ciaran and Sean. She lived most of her married life in the Gandondesigned mansion Abbeville in Kinsealy, near Malahide in north county Dublin, which the Haugheys had bought in 1969 shortly after Mr Haughey had been reappointed Minister for Finance. They financed the purchase by selling a smaller estate, Grangemore near Raheny, and 17 acres of Abbeville to Cement Roadstone.
The Haugheys set about restoring the house at Abbeville to its former glory, after it had fallen in to neglect under its previous owner, a German industrialist, and its garden. They enjoyed hunting with the Fingal Harriers, and Maureen bred horses and Irish Wolfhounds. And in 1995 its revived stud farm, originally established by a previous owner, Percy Reynolds, produced an Irish Grand National winner in Flashing Steel.
The weddings of all four of the Haughey children took place on grounds, with marquees erected in the field in front of the house. She moved to be nearer her children following the death of her husband in 2006, and into a purpose-build house on the edge of the estate.
Moran’s Manor Park Homes paid €45m for the property and its 250 acres in the noughties.
The Haugheys remained in the property, however, until Mr Haughey’s death after several redevelopment projects failed to get off the grown. It was purchased in 2015, by Norimasa Nishida, owner of the Japanese hotel chain Toyoko Inn International, who bought the estate for just €5.5m from the receivers to Manor Park Homes. Manor Park Homes was wound up in May 2012 with debts of €135m.
The Japanese owners appear now happy to use Abbeville as a family home and there are no plans to redevelop the estate at present, with planning permission for a 70-bedroom hotel now lapsed.