Ex-unionist MP's country pile sells after three years
Stunning seven-bedroom Castle Upton in Templepatrick has been sold to the boss of a leading cash management firm.
It is understood Terry Hughes (48), MD of RMS Cash Management, has bought the 400-year-old pile, which has been listed as sold by commercial property agency Savills.
The property's vendor, former South Antrim Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan, declined to comment.
The 10,415 sq ft castle, set in 21 acres of picturesque farm and woodland, was put on the market in 2016, but failed to attract a buyer until recently.
It is believed the house was not sold for the listed asking price of £1.35m.
Mr Hughes' firm provides a range of financial services, including the installation and management of ATMs, and the transit of cash and valuables.
The Belfast-based firm recorded a pre-tax profit of £627,382 this year, up from £141,989 in 2017.
Mr Hughes' wife Kerry (47) is also listed as a director of the company.
In 2016 it announced plans to create 300 jobs - 100 in Belfast and the remainder in Slough - with a £1.25m investment.
The sale of Castle Upton comes as it emerged the Hilton is under offer.
The hotel, golf and country club is being marketed for sale by agency Christie in London with a price tag in the region of £7m.
According to Christie, the Templepatrick Hilton is to be converted into the first DoubleTree by Hilton in Northern Ireland.
DoubleTree is one of the more luxurious brands in the Hilton family.
Every year Mr Kinahan opened the grounds of the estate to the public for an annual 'Big Picnic Lunch' to raise money for charity.
Hundreds of people flocked to the events to enjoy live music, face-painting and a vintage car exhibition.
Mrs Kinahan established the estate as a popular wedding venue, securing a licence for religious and civil marriages catering for up to 100 guests.
The ground floor of the Grade A listed building features a grand hall and a ballroom.
The house has six bedrooms plus a luxurious master suite with its own sitting room, bedroom, dressing room and en suite.
A basement level has a self-contained apartment in addition to a laundry room, cellar, wood store, workshops and storeroom.
Mr Kinahan made the reluctant decision to sell his family home as his four children had grown up and moved out and he and wife Anna wanted to downsize.
Speaking in 2016, he said: "It is the right time in our lives. Everything has changed and my life as an MP means I'm away a lot.
"The children have moved on, so it had to happen. It's sad. I'd such a fantastic childhood here.
"I was five when my father bought it, and it was at a time when Templepatrick was just a small village and there was no motorway, and it was a grand big playground for me and my three older sisters and younger brother.
"I always thought the best possible thing was to give my children the same fun time in the house that I had enjoyed as a child, and now that they have all gone to university it is time to move on.
"The children are heartbroken too, and have a great affection for it, but they completely understand what is going on and realise the time is right to move on.
"There was no garden here when my parents bought it and did it up.
"The gardens now are lovely, like an oasis, and I think as a little boy I took it all for granted.
"It is only when you grow up you realise how great it is.
"I remember as a child the painters being in and all the work being done, although it wasn't all done at once."