Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Investor buys top golf resort

John Daly helped design the Blarney Golf Resort course in Co Cork

A high profile golf resort opened in the dying days of the Celtic Tiger has been bought by a low-key investor from Northern Ireland two days after he heard about the sale.

Tom O'Gorman, who made most of his millions in the sale of oil exploration company Cove Energy, has taken over Blarney Golf Resort in Co Cork near the historic village and castle.

The property, which includes a 61-bed four star hotel, leisure centre and a John Daly designed championship course, had been on the market for five years and sold for around 2.5 million euro.

It had reportedly been developed at a cost of 30-40 million euro.

Mr O'Gorman, 62, from Newry, Co Down, said it will be business as usual at the resort, securing 120 jobs.

Denis O'Donoghue and Tom Barrett, of Savills Hotels & Leisure who handled the sale on behalf of receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers, took 100 inquiries on the sale.

The agents said: "Blarney Golf Resort represents an excellent acquisition and signifies the growing confidence in the golf resort sector.

"The property attracted very strong interest both domestically and internationally with almost 100 inquiries. After five weeks of marketing, Savills and PWC are delighted with the outcome."

It is understood Mr O'Gorman plans to invest further in facilities at the Blarney resort.

The property was first placed on the market in February 2009 before being relaunched last month at 2.5 million euro. Its valuation fell from initial highs of 12.5m euro when put up for sale in 2010.

Mr O'Gorman, a 40-year veteran of the oil exploration and mining industries, heard about the sale last Wednesday and by Friday was ready to exchange contracts.

His biggest payday came when Cove Energy was sold to the Thai government-owned PTTEP for 1.9 billion euro in June 2012.

The Blarney resort which opened in 2007 has 350 members and a large club house and function room and 38 two-bedroom golf lodges.

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