Further to yesterday’s posting about the sale of shops in Ballyhackamore that looked likely to be bought up by property developers rather than anyone interested in the current commercial use, the BBC reports that
“a spokesperson for the archbishop [Robin Eames] said the property was being taken off the open market to allow further consideration of its future.”
The current tenants—many of whose leases run out next October—still hope to have talks with Lord Eames (the part owner of the row of seven shops) in the New Year.
Update: Saturday's Belfast Telegraph confirms that Lord Eames and his family are the joint owners. The property has been in the Eames family for nearly 120 years.
The Belfast Telegraph have also picked up the story of yesterday’s protest rally
“Mr Shankey said all the traders rallied together and put in an offer 23 times over the estimated worth of the property.
‘We have offered the asking price of £1.4 million, which I have been told is 23 times over the estimated worth of the property. But we have not heard back yet.
We have been told that there is another bid by a property developer for £1.92m. We cannot afford to top that.’”
Lord Eames retires from his job as Primate of all Ireland on 31 December. The remaining eleven Irish bishops will meet on January 10 to decide his successor.
They meet in private and will decide that day who takes over. No campaigning, no public meetings. Just an internal discussion, prayer and an announcement.
While the favourite to take over is the current Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill, there is often an element of surprise in these decisions, much like the election of a pope. It would be no surprise if Bishops Ken Clarke or Harold Miller moved to Armagh instead.