Jehovah's Witnesses to Sell Irish HQ

Irish Times/October 12, 2011

The Jehovah's Witnesses are to sell their Irish headquarters at Newcastle, Co Wicklow. Lucy Connolly of commercial property agents Mason Owen Lyons is quoting a guide price of €4.5 million for Watch Tower House, which extends to 2,915 sq m (31,380 sq ft) and stands on a site of 3.24 hectares (eight acres). It is about 30 minutes' drive from Dublin.

The decision to sell the Newcastle facility has been prompted by a worldwide restructuring of the congregation. In future, the administrative functions will be taken over by the British branch and the growing number of Jehovah's Witnesses in Ireland will be catered for in 115 separate units already functioning around the country. The congregation has about 6,000 members on both sides of the Border and baptised 140 new members last year, according to spokesman Darren Fuller. He said the sale of the HQ would not have any effect on their activities and it was hoped that the congregation would continue to grow in the future.

Lucy Connolly said the three interlinking blocks, which date from 1996, were built to a particularly high standard and are in immaculate condition. The extensive grounds have been generously landscaped and include parking for over 30 cars.

The main building is used as a business centre and also has recreational rooms, a reception area, conference room, seminar room, library, 12 offices, professional kitchen, diningroom, lounge and laundry room. The services block to the right of the main building has a hair salon, pantry, games room, boiler room, carpentry room, garage and extensive storage area. The third block has 20 double-bedroom suites, all of them with kitchens and eight of them with sittingrooms.

Mason Owen & Lyons has suggested that Watch Tower House would be suitable for a number of uses including corporate headquarters, a nursing home, retreat centre, conference facility, hospital, children's home, medical centre, hotel, hostel, business training facility or cookery school.

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