Entrepreneurial Uncle Ned

An uncle of mine (now deceased) had a bungalow built for each of his five children. I see now that one of them is up for sale for just under E400,000, which is not bad, given the very strategic lucrative location. I can’t see the church buying it now, after all the child abuse scandals, the coffers must be emptying fast, well, those of whom haven’t stashed it away in secret trusts.

Details:

Large 6 bedroom bungalow which was formerly used as a Bed and Breakfast. It is situated overlooking the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock. Within easy reach of Claremorris, Kiltimagh and Ballyhaunis and seven miles from secondary schools. Knock National school is 50 yards away and the property is close to Knock International Hotel.
Accommodation consists of 6 ensuite bedrooms, a large bathroom and two cloakrooms, 2 sitting rooms, reception/dining area, large kitchen, utility room, hot press, storage presses and intergral garage. There is a large garden surrounding the bungalow and it is approached by a private driveway with ample parking.
It is an archectural designed house by Sean Taylor of Castlebar. Aluminium windows, oil fired central heating.

The bungalow for sale is situated right in the heart of Knock opposite the basilica and has its own large private drive-way. All five bungalows are similar in appearance, and size and were built on a large piece of land that the church wanted to purchase from him for millions upon millions during the Celtic tiger era. I remember being told that he’d planned to go into a bigger hotel franchise with an established hotelier, or failing that a large supermarket in Galway. I think he even had an idea of building a hotel at Fairfield.

The idea being that they would act as bed & breakfast over-flow for nearby the small one-storied hotel/motel for pilgrims to Knock, and added revenue for his children. One large hotel would not have sufficed with a large family to have to share.

It is surely telling of the times we are living in with respect of the passing on of one who kept most of the family together, and the Celtic tiger and religious hold on people. I expect the next thing to go will be the row of shops and cafe, that was additional to the hotel and bungalows. At least one of them inherited a farm of land on the maternal side.

My uncle Ned was very entrepreneurial and a self-made man. Mind you, he’d been given the land and help by his own father who was a very shrewd man, having honed his skills as an officer in the British army for nigh on 25 years. There were no flies on either of them. The pilgrims to Knock were rich pickings and he became a multi-millionaire in times when the majority of the inhabitants in Ireland and indeed Knock were very poor. My other uncle who recently passed away said that he got his business acumen from the Kavanagh clan. I’m beginning to think it is an end of an era. His children travelled the world every Winter for a couple of months since they were toddlers and wanted for nothing. I know that they worked hard as children in the mini Knock outlets. I know that they were the envy of the town with all the glamour and wealth. There was a rumour that a huge casket of sovereigns belonging to my great-grandmother was supposed to have set him up in Knock. The sovereigns would have been found in the attic after the owner had died. It’s rather an amusing story. Every dog must have its day.

It’s rather ironic that for forty years my uncle dealt with the same rosary bead company that the religious in Goldenbridge had a contract. So, in essence, he could have been selling rosary beads of a niece of his that he never knew existed. I actually remember going on a visitation with children from Goldenbridge when I was very young. I never was selected for outings, but for some odd reason went to Knock.

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