In a move likely to be welcomed by those who want to buy Irish land, the Irish Government will sell up to 100 hectares of land in South Dublin for a reported $50 million.
The land in the town of Louth is the third largest parcel of undeveloped land in Ireland and will be sold off for up to $40 million.
Minister for Rural Development Phil Hogan said that the sale of the land would allow for development of the area.
The area was previously undevelope land that had been used by the state to house prisoners.
“The area is in desperate need of revitalisation and I’m happy to announce that this is one of the areas in South County where we can take advantage of the sale,” Mr Hogan said.
“It will allow for the construction of a number of buildings and other development opportunities that will be developed over time.”
Mr Hogan added that the land will also allow for an additional 15 acres of additional land to develop in the area and a new residential complex.
He said that “in many ways the land is now one of Ireland’s greatest assets and this sale will help secure it”.
Land Minister Pádraig Gannon said that in terms of land the area had been given an “optimistic” assessment by a team of experts.
“We are very happy with the outcome,” Mr Gannon told RTÉ News.
“What we have done is, for a period of time, have put in place an investment plan that is working to make sure the area has a future and a place to be.”
“We’re also looking at some of the potential that there might be a new development in the region that will require this area to be developed,” he added.
The State’s land management minister said that Ireland has one of Europe’s highest levels of agricultural land in relation to its population, and that it was important to preserve that.
“There are some areas that have had significant agricultural land given to the state by the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Nations,” Minister Gannon added.
“And that’s where a lot of those farms have been built up.”
We’re not looking to sell it off, but we want to preserve it.
“I think it’s an area that has been in the public domain for a long time and I think it would be very exciting to see a development that is going to bring it back into the public realm.”
The Minister for Environment, Food and the Gaeltacht, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, welcomed the announcement.
“Irish land has been a huge asset for Ireland over the centuries, and the sale will make it even more so for future generations,” she said.
The sale of 100 hectares will be the biggest in the State’s history.
It will be valued at €8.5 million.
Land Minister, Mr Gahan, said that it would also be a great boost to the region’s tourism industry.
“This is a huge development that will have a significant impact on the local economy and will add to the town’s economy,” he said.