Palace sale expected to finance St Mary's Cathedral work

Palace sale expected to finance St Mary's Cathedral work

It is expected that the proceeds of the sale of the Catholic bishop of Ossory's former home on the edge of Kilkenny city will be used to finance the renovation programme for St Mary's Cathedral in the cente of the city which was estimated to cost in the region of €15 million.

The former palace and grounds of Bishop Seamus Freeman's old residence on the city's much coveted Sion Road address is expected to be redeveloped into a housing estate when it is sold through agents Lisney and David Fitzgerald Auctioneers.

The agencies are seeking €2.5 million for the palace, Sion House, and a second detached house as well as a retreat centre and ancillary accommodation extending to 1,516sq m (16,322sq ft).

The buildings stand on 5.6 hectares (14 acres) at Sion Road, located just off the Dublin road, and has planning permission for 27 houses with further development potential on part of the site fronting directly on to the river Nore subject to planning from Kilkenny County Council.

The lands have 238 metres of road frontage and three separate entrances.

The Palace, a substantial two-storey detached house with a distinctive copper roof, was built in the 1970s by the late Bishop Peter Birch.

Bishop Freeman moved from the Sion rpoad some years ago to be closer to the Carthedral and his flock and has ana apartment off James's Street and next to the CBS secondary school.