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Irish Estates Left Behind When the Property Market Crashed

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Thanks to some mind-numbingly stupid creative investments in their indigenous property market during the housing bubble, some of Irelands richest fell the hardest when that bubble burst. Okay, so maybe not the richest, but certainly the most indulgent. Now those very same folks are attempting to offload their personalized properties with little luck. One need not get inside the gates of this $3.6M estate to understand that this is one uniquely heinous renovation of an Irish classic from 1798. That's because the gates themselves are crafted to look like a dragon preparing to strike. Inside, things don't get much better, with a Tim Burton meets Spiderman aesthetic that would have a hard time finding a buyer were it next door to Marvel Comics headquarters, never mind on the outskirts of Dublin. The only saving grace is that the stately facade doesn't seem to have been significantly altered during the seven year renovation that created this abomination. Plus, with so many other fine estates on the market in Ireland, we doubt this one will sell anytime soon.

? In it's facade and grounds, this Georgian stone manor, known as Jamestown Court, is just as described, "a truly historic estate," but head inside and one finds it has fallen victim to some dastardly design choices. Red velvet coats the walls of the master bedroom and a sitting room, the master bath has been tiled, floor to ceiling, in a hideous brown marble, and cheap-looking furnishings and artwork populate nearly every room. Still, for 62 acres and a stone shell from 1720, the asking price of $3.7M isn't exorbitant.

? Thanks to a little bit of Irish luck, there are a few notable estates that haven't been retrofitted with terrible interiors. This, the 1785 Mount Kennedy House, is one such classic home. Resting on 169 acres of rolling emerald countryside—complete with a herd of sheep—this "classical Georgian mansion" has rooms that can be accurately described as baronal, and most retain their 226-year-old details. The price for this seven-bedroom, four-bath Kennedy compound is available upon request.

? Lyons Demesne, the estate of the late Ryanair founder Tony Ryan, is perhaps the most spectacular of the many Irish estates on the market today. It's no surprise then, that it's also probably the most expensive. When it first went to market in 2009, the place was asking around $100M. A year later, the price was slashed down to $65M in hopes of a quick sale. A buyer never showed and now the price reads "Available Upon Request," otherwise known as "as much as we can get." The late Mr. Ryan is said to have spent upwards of $120M restoring the property to its 18th-century glory, too bad that glory can't fetch a 21st-century buyer.

? Finally, here's an Irish country home with a more reasonable price tag and tolerable interiors. Located 10 miles south of the Dublin city center, this 19th-century stucco manse might have some bold colors on the walls, but at least there isn't a dragon guarding the gate. The five-bedroom spread sits on a comfortable four-acre lot and is distinguished more by its restraint than by any risky interior design. At $2.5M, the most sensible home on this list is also, thankfully, the least expensive.

· Harlech House [Christie's]
· A truly Historic Estate [Christie's]
· Classical Georgian Mansion [Christie's]
· Lyons Demesne [Christie's]
· Captivating Period Country House [Christie's]