f you’re trying to figure out how wealthy Luggala’s new owner Count Luca Rinaldo Contardo Padulli di Vighignolo is, just think of a ridiculously huge amount of money.
Now, double it. And then, double it again.
This is a man, after all, who has just bought the beautiful Wicklow mini-mansion Luggala for €11.585m, along with the entire 5,000 acres surrounding it, bringing his little shopping spree to €20m-plus. And the 64-year-old, Norfolk-based Italian financier and his American wife, Carolyn Dolgenos, 59, will be using the former Guinness family home as an occasional retreat.
The way the rest of us rent out a caravan for a naughty, drafty weekend down in windy Wexford.
The good news is, Padulli clearly appreciates the beauty of this unique and iconic hunting lodge, this collector of old masters apparently viewing Luggala as “a piece of art come to life, like a painting in 3D“.
What’s also encouraging is that, having established an Irish company, Luggala Estate Ltd, earlier this year to oversee the running of the house, Padulli has just appointed Tony Boylan as a director of the company. Boylan ran the estate for more than 20 years, and was a close friend of Guinness heir Garech de Brún, who lived in Luggala until his death last year.
Given the likelihood that Boylan will remain as the estate’s custodian, it is believed that Padulli will continue allowing walkers and hikers to use the many treks through Luggala.
Here’s hoping that is indeed the case. We need to hold onto as much green as we can in Wicklow, as we continue to be transformed into the garden patio of Ireland.
Cover pic: Kyle O’Connell Irish Film & Television Services/The Irish Times. Headline shot: Cork Hill Walkers Club
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