The people of Abbeyleix, Co Laois, prepare to welcome a new neighbor to the heritage town, as young Irish billionaire John Collison recently purchased the prestigious Abbeyleix House and the surrounding 1,120-acre estate.
r Collison co-founded the online payments platform Stripe with his brother Patrick in 2009, and by 2021, its market value was close to $ 100 billion. It’s no surprise, then, that John Collison paid around $ 20million for the sprawling estate and mansion, and locals are delighted to see a new resident with the means to maintain and develop the property.
“Céad míle fáilte va mór sur them,” said local parish priest, Father Paddy Byrne.
“I think it’s great that a successful local Irish family is taking ownership now, and I sincerely wish them the best. I hope that we as a city and community can benefit from their presence, that we can all be inspired and that their entrepreneurial spirit is contagious.
Father Byrne said he was “envious” of John Collison’s new backyard garden, made up of more than 1,000 acres of ancient forests and meadows, which former owner David Davies had allowed him to cross for. locking.
“It’s a taste of paradise, living with nature and deer and you name it, and one of Ireland’s oldest forests,” he said.
“If he needs a helping hand with maintenance, I’d be happy to go over there and roll up my sleeves and work in the forest a day or two a week!” “
Local councilor John Joe Fennelly says they’re just waiting for the call to throw a welcome party.
“We have a fantastic community at Abbeyleix. You will not surpass the community we have here in Ireland. We look forward to a phone call to meet and welcome John, ”he said.
The close relationship between the inhabitants of the town and the inhabitants of the estate dates back to the De Vesci family, who built the current house in 1773.
They created the majority of jobs for city dwellers in the 19th and 20th centuries, in a sawmill, forestry, farm and gardens, and brewery built down town. The family also built many houses for people to live in and raise families, with minimal fees charged.
“Abbeyleix is a heritage town and the De Vesci family has always been very kind to the town. The monuments in our market place in the city are actually dedicated to them, ”said Cllr Fennelly.
“There has always been a great connection between the people of Abbeyleix and the De Vesci family, as well as Sir David Davies,” he said.
Mr Davies, banker and businessman, bought the estate from the De Vesci family in 1995 for 3 million euros and lovingly restored the house to its former glory.
“Great credit goes to Sir David Davis for its restoration, which has been a labor of love in recent years. As far as possible he used local labor and kept the house in its present condition, which is in very good condition ”, said Abbeyleix Tidy Towns president Robbie Quinn.
Sources said that John Collison is committed to being a ‘keeper’ of the property, maintaining the house and the vast estate, which is music to the ears of the locals, and especially to the towns of Abbeyleix Tidy. , focused on the environment.
“Climate action, biodiversity, sustainability, these are all the main pillars of what we are trying to achieve here at Abbeyleix. We think he’s very committed to climate action projects through the Stripe company, so it’s music to our ears, ”Mr. Quinn said.
David Davis had previously worked with Tidy Towns on a pollination project, where they collected seeds from the ecologically diverse and species-rich grasslands of the estate.
Mr Quinn is eager to involve the new Abbeyleix resident in future projects.
“Our biggest problem right now is the volume of traffic going through the city,” he said. “We are trying to campaign for more bike-friendly and more active trips. By all accounts, it’s his job too, so it would be nice to have him run a campaign to leave the car at home.
On the main street of Abbeyleix, Mueller & O’Connell Bakery owner Richard O’Connell said the town was abuzz with the news, which residents had known about since April.
“People are delighted to see the estate in good hands and Irish hands. It’s been a long time since the news has been talking about it, it only made national headlines this week, ”he said.
“It’s great to see him probably in the hands of a young, energetic person who can keep him in good shape,” he added.
Mr. O’Connell looks forward to welcoming Mr. Collison when he moves in and hopes he might arrive some morning.
“We can’t wait to see him. We hope he likes good coffee, sourdough and almond croissants. As long as he is demanding in his taste for baked goods, we will all be delighted, and we will know how to take care of him.