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Going, going gondola Businessman Harry Crosbie is selling off his €100k gondola for charity

The Venetian 'love boat', called Amore, was built in Venice and shipped to Ireland for a rock video.

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Harry Crosbie's gondola

Harry Crosbie's gondola

Harry Crosbie's gondola

Irish impresario Harry Crosbie is selling off one of his most unusual assets - a gondola!

The Venetian 'love boat', called Amore, was built in Venice at a cost of €100,000, and shipped to Ireland for a rock video.

It is owned by Harry's Vicar Street company and has been lying in storage at the venue for several years.

With the Vicar Street music venue getting a makeover in preparation for reopening after the Covid lockdown, colourful business mogul Crosbie has now decided to put his gondola up for auction.

"I took the gondola out on to the water at Grand Canal Basin, down at the BGE Theatre, with my old friend Gaybo (Gay Byrne) six or seven years ago, but it has been in storage since then," Harry tells the Sunday World.

"It's a full-scale gondola - the real deal - and we had it built in Venice years ago for a rock video that didn't happen. It was made in the last great gondola yard in Venice, where they've been in business for 700 years.

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Ryan Tubridy with the late Gerry Ryan, Gay Byrne and Paolo Tullio on the gondola.

Ryan Tubridy with the late Gerry Ryan, Gay Byrne and Paolo Tullio on the gondola.

Ryan Tubridy with the late Gerry Ryan, Gay Byrne and Paolo Tullio on the gondola.

The gondola will be going to auction at 4pm on Tuesday week, August 24, at Wilsons Auctions on Dublin's Naas Road.

"Our auction house has sold everything from oil tankers to planes, cranes and trains, but this is our first gondola," says Jason Delaney, of Wilsons.

"There is a lot of interest in the gondola, believe it or not. We've had a lot of enquiries already in the 24 hours that it has gone up online. Some people see it as a ready-made business for tourism. There are also people who are interested in it as a collector's item. The majority of interested parties that have been in touch so far have been potential businesses planning to put it to use."

Meanwhile, Crosbie reveals that Vicar Street will have a new look when it reopens.

"We've done a major renovation job upgrading Vicar Street," Harry says. "Instead of having one big bar we're putting in several smaller bars to break up the crowd. And we're going to spread out the tables more and probably end up reducing the capacity a bit to get a little more distance between people. We're trying to be as Covid wise as possible.

"We're looking forward to seeing our fans coming back, and people will be very, very pleased with the new-look Vicar Street."

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Harry Crosbie

Harry Crosbie

Harry Crosbie

Harry says that the renovations are not connected to a recent fire at the music venue.

"The fire was a minor thing on one of the back roofs that happened when work was being carried out," he adds.

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