A circa 116 acre roadside farm with a varied and colourful history is going for auction in early December. On the books of GVM Auctioneers, Doonass house, Clonlara, Co Clare, is all in one block and lies on the western bank of the Shannon close to Castleconnell, Co Limerick.

The lands are considered excellent quality, with the majority in permanent pasture laid out in rolling parkland with many mature trees and extensive frontage to the River Shannon. There are almost 100 acres in grass and silage or hay would have been cut on a good proportion in recent times. The remaining lands are comprised of mature woodland including a block of over six acres that is close to the ruins of the old house.

Doonass House was destroyed by fire in 2009 and now all that remains of the 18th-century Georgian mansion is the shell of the once-imposing main residence. To the rear of the ruins is an impressive courtyard of outbuildings in cut limestone with a cobbled yard.

A folly or turret was built in front of the house on the banks of the Shannon; this was intended for viewing of the rapids at Doonass.

Doonass house is situated a short distance from Limerick city and has a rich history.

Following the construction of the Ardnacrusha power station and the diversion of the water there was a huge decrease in water volume and the Falls of Doonass became the meandering river it is today.

The house and yard are located centrally on the property which has almost 1.5km of river frontage.

There is a gate lodge at the main entrance. This could be a more feasible renovation project in the short term.


Home of the Massy family, who arrived in Ireland as part of Cromwell’s New Model Army, in 1820 the house was remodelled by Sir Hugh Dillon-Massy, the second baronet Massy. From the Great Famine on, much of the Doonass estate was sold off in the Encumbered Estate sales.

The house had a number of different owners in the 20th century. In the 1950s it was purchased by Benjamin Weissman, son of Chaim Weissman, first president of Israel.

During the construction of the dam at Ardnacrusha, a group of 18 German engineers, scientists, and electricians lived in Doonass House. As a sideline business they developed supplying wine from their homeland brought them to the attention of the Irish authorities. In 1926, they received a court summons after 1,400 bottles of wine were seized from the two cellars in the basement of the house.

An impressive courtyard of out buildings constructed from cut limestone is to the rear of the ruins.

An executor’s sale, this idyllic site is 3km from Clonlara village, 15 minutes’ drive from Limerick City and within 30 minutes of Shannon Airport.

The property goes for sale via public and online auction on Friday 9 December at 3pm at GVM auctioneers, Limerick City Auction Rooms at 25/26 Glentworth Street, Limerick.

If bidders wish to bid online on the LSL platform, they will need to register with GVM Auctioneers at least three days before the sale and pay a bidding deposit.

The Shannon River forms one of the boundaries on this mix of pasture and parkland at Clonlara, Co Clare.

It’s difficult to put a guide price on a property such as this, especially given the presence of the Georgian ruins, but it is likely to be somewhere in the region of €1.25m to €1.5m.