it rose out of a hollow in the Powerscourt estate in Co Wicklow, the
became one of the enduring symbols of the Celtic Tiger.
was built by the one-time titans of Irish property, Johnny
Barrett of Treasury Holdings, but now Ronan's
former 'palace' in the Wicklow Hills will be no more, as details of
the hotel's change of ownership have emerged.
Sunday Independent has confirmed that the 200-room resort "showcasing
Palladian-style architecture" – and which has two
championship-calibre golf courses and a Gordon
Ramsay signaturerestaurant –
has been sold for €1m and had all of its estimated €80m debts
February, Nama sold its €47m debt in the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt
in Enniskerry to Ranieri Real Estate, the US property-investment
source familiar with the matter said: "The real story is that
they bought it for f**k all."
was at the Ritz-Carlton that former Miss
Davison enjoyed a boozy evening with developer Johnny Ronan before
they headed off toMorocco on
his private jet in 2010.
was a Sunday and I was asked in for a business meeting in the
Ritz-Carlton,' said Ms Davison.
met these two guys for lunch. I had my car with me, so I wasn't going
to have a drink, but they ordered wine and told me, 'It's okay, we'll
make sure you get a lift home later.'
wasn't working the next day, so I decided I'd collect my car in the
we finished up the meeting and then moved to the Ritz-Carlton pub,
said Johnny Ronan then turned up and one of the guys left.
it was the three of us – me, Johnny and this guy he knew, a friend
Davison texted her friend Sarah Leckie, also from Enniskerry, and she
joined them in the pub.
got to about 12.30 or so and we'd all had quite a few drinks at this
stage, I won't lie, and somebody suggested that we'd go somewhere
else because the staff wanted to close the bar.
suggested that we go somewhere on the jet because it was on stand-by,
and then my friend Sarah said, 'Oh, I've never been to Marrakech,
let's go to Morrocco', so it all seemed like a fabulous idea at the
went to their respective houses for their passports and overnight
bags and ended up in Morrocco by seven in the morning.
Davison said she knew nothing of Mr Ronan's fight with his ex, Glenda
in Ranelagh until they were actually in Morocco.
don't regret any aspect of the trip," she said. "I don't
regret the spontaneity of it. I found it liberating. I found it
exciting. I really believe in grasping every opportunity in life, and
when you're faced with that sort of opportunity you don't stop and
think, 'Oh, God, will there be dire consequences?'"
2009, Ronan's son, James, then a student at DIT, had his very own
coming-of-age extravaganza in the Ritz-Carlton.
the time, Ronan's wealth was listed as €239m and, like the rest of
this emerging class of swaggering alpha-male developers, he wasn't
shy about spending it.
likes the big price tags," is how one acquaintance put it. That
meant fine wines such as Cheval Blanc and Lynch Bages, fine foods,
expensive cars (along with his trademark Maybach, he has had a
metallic blue Hummer and a two-door gull-wing Mercedes SLR) and
important art, with a collection once valued at €10m.
Independent June 2013