Freud's 'Man from Donegal'
delights tycoon's guests
by Linda McGrory
A HOTEL in Co Donegal is set for a boost from art
lovers flocking to see a painting by the late artist
The painting, 'A Man from Donegal 2006', is a
portrait of publicity-shy property magnate, Pat
Doherty, that hangs on the drawing room wall of his
Solis Lough Eske castle near Donegal Town.
But would-be guests of the entrepreneur's five-star
castle should note that the painting is a copy. The
original is kept in a "secure location" by the
owner, believed to be Doherty himself.
The 68-year old multi-millionaire chairman of
Harcourt Developments, did almost 90 sittings for
the artist in 2006. It was believed at the time,
however, that, while he liked the artwork, he did
not intend buying it.
Aoife Travers of the hotel's sales and marketing
department yesterday said: "The painting of Pat
Doherty that we have here in the hotel is actually a
copy. As far as we know the original painting does
belong to him but it's in a secure location and its
whereabouts is kept under wraps."
At the time it was created five years ago, the
painting was valued at an estimated €2.2m.
Since Freud's death
last Wednesday, however, its value is likely to have
Doherty, who generally declines to give interviews,
became friends with 88-year old Freud after being
introduced by their mutual friend, Andrew Parker
Bowles, ex-husband of Camilla Parker Bowles.
'A Man from Donegal 2006' is an oil on canvas and
measures 22 x 18in. It depicts Doherty in thoughtful
mood wearing a grey-beige suit jacket, pinstripe
shirt and blue tie.
Man from Donegal.
The copy hangs over one
of the mantelpieces at the luxury hotel among
antiques and sumptuous period decor.
Ms Travers says the hotel also displays a
copy-portrait of Mr Parker Bowles by Freud.
She said customers regularly ask about the two
works. "The girls on the desk would get a lot of
questions about the two paintings from people
wondering whether they're originals or copies," she
said. "Then they want to know where the originals
are, but we don't know ourselves."
The original 'A Man from Donegal 2006' was among 50
paintings and 20 works on paper and etchings by
Freud than ran at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
in the summer of 2007.
An IMMA spokesperson yesterday said some 2,000
people visited the Freud exhibition daily during its
"More than 157,000 people visited the exhibition,
making it one of the most popular exhibitions shown
at IMMA in its 20 year history," said the