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McHale brothers expand into property


McHale brothers set to expand into property

Ciara Galvin

Padraic and Martin McHale, the owners of Ballinrobe agricultural-machinery manufacturer McHale Engineering, are moving from balers to buildings. It might seem like an unusual leap, but bargains on the property market are proving too tempting to miss, and the brothers have just invested in several landmark properties, with an eye to the future.     
Over the past 30 years, Ballinrobe agricutural machinery maker McHale Engineering has established itself internationally as a leader in specialist balers, baler wrappers and other agri machinery. The company that now services the agriculture industry in 45 countries across five continents.
In their latest venture, the McHale brothers, who hail from Kilmaine, have co-invested with Galway property-developer brothers Luke and Brian Comer in property acquisitions in Dublin and Galway.
The McHales have joined the Comers in acquiring the former UCD Veterinary Building in Ballsbridge. Closer to home, the two sets of brothers are said to have bought the two-acre Odeon site in Galway’s Eyre Square as well as the former Corrib Southern Hotel.
McHales, the silent partners, along with the Comers, agreed in June to purchase the Ballsbridge property for €22.5 million – a bargain when compared to the €171.5 million  developer brothers Ray and Danny Grehan paid for the property in 2005.
The partners are said to have paid more than €13 million for the Eyre Square site. A price of approximately €3.5 million was agreed for the former CorribSouthern Hotel on the Dublin Road on Galway city’s outskirts. Planning for a restaurant and apartment block is set to be submitted for the site.