Irish castles are going for a song

Americans are snapping up castles in Ireland and there's emerging interest from China and Japan

FIRST-TIME visitors to Humewood Castle in Kiltegan, County Wicklow, can't help it. They simply say, "Wow." It's that big, that stunning - that, well, fairy tale. It's vast and turreted, and the view towards the mountains looks like a Hollywood backdrop.

Humewood, an Irish estate on 427 acres (172.8 ha), roughly a 90-minute drive from Dublin, includes 15 bedrooms, a ballroom, a banqueting hall and a billiards room, among other amenities.

And an American, John Malone, now owns it. In November, the 72-year-old billionaire chairman of the cable and telecom giant Liberty Global got it for a song.

He paid about eight million euros (S$13.5 million) for the 32,668 sq ft granite Victorian Gothic bastion,...

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