Country houses for sale

Ireland’s most significant estate

Lyons Demesne, one of Ireland’s most significant estates, and the former home of the late founder of Ryanair, Tony Ryan, is described as ‘a rare Georgian treasure’.

The current house was commissioned in 1785 by Lord and Lady Cloncurry and was bought by Mr Ryan in 1996 who carried out a lengthy restoration project which included installing contemporary features and rescuing much of the decaying original art work. More than 100 people worked on the house, parts of which were close to ruinous condition. As a result of Mr Ryan’s intervention, the 19th century Italian frescoes, which are recognised as among the most important of the period, would almost certainly have been lost. A team from the Courtauld Institute in London was responsible for saving a rare overmantel trompe l’oeil of a martial trophy in the entrance hall.

The house stands nearly 600 acres, including some fine formal gardens. The Orangery and hall house a half-Olympic sized pool and the helicopter landing facility is the only one in Ireland permitted to operate 24 hours a day.

There are 7 suites in the main house, a self contained guest wing with four bedrooms and staff quarters in the north wing. A further 5 lodges are located around the estate which include a 22-acre spring-fed lake which is stocked with trout and, for equestrian enthusiasts, there are stables, stud farm facilities and outstanding natural gallops.

Dublin is a 45-minute drive but private jet access is available on request at nearby Baldonnel’s Casement Aerodrome which is 3 miles from the estate.

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Christie’s Great Estates are asking in excess of €50 million (020 7389 2592;