Inside the classic car showroom of tragic EuroMillions winner Margaret Loughrey in a lavish new home where she has never lived
TRAGIC EuroMillions winner Margaret Loughrey took to classic cars to keep them next to the new home she was never able to live in.
The 56-year-old, who amassed a fortune of Â£ 27million (â¬ 31million), built a six bay showroom for vehicles even if she wasn’t driving.
She was found dead in the Â£ 130,000 bungalow she was staying temporarily in Strabane, County Tyrone, on Thursday.
The little house is next to the showroom and the converted barrel-roof barn where she plans to live on her own.
Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances” after Ms Loughrey’s body was found.
Local independent adviser Paul Gallagher, who knew the EuroMillions jackpot winner, said she had been “at times a little offbeat” and “hard to read”.
He recounted a sad loss for the city, saying that it had “a great fortune but did not appreciate it”.
Our photos reveal that the lottery winner, who pocketed the colossal fortune of Â£ 26,863,588.20 in November 2014, purchased a vintage motorcycle with sidecar, a vintage VW Campervan, a classic VW Beetle and a Land Rover jeep vintage.
A Â£ 70,000 Jaguar XJ50 was also kept on the property.
The showroom is directly across from the recently converted upscale Ballycolman Avenue home called The Barn, which Ms Loughrey began renovating in 2019.
Mr Gallagher, who was unaware that she was interested in cars, said: âThe bungalow she lived in became available as she was fitting out the barn for the past two years.
âShe bought it and moved in and she could go to the new house every day to see what they had done.
“The bungalow was only supposed to do it until the house was ready and the sad part is that the house is now complete.”
He said he had visited the new house and “it has to be seen to be believed”.
He said, “It’s huge, open plan inside.”
âIt had been destroyed and collapsed before she took control of the site.
âShe built a modern house with an arched corrugated iron roof, electronic doors, everything.
‘NO EXPENSE SPARED’
âGod knows what it cost, but no expense was spared.
âIt’s sad that it’s over. It’s a shame that she was never able to take advantage of it.
He said the redevelopment of the site had “revamped the area” by turning “an eyesore” into a modern “state of the art” property.
Mr Gallagher added: âBut that was exactly what she wanted to do. She was not flamboyant. She kept herself for herself.
Nicknamed “Maggie Millions”, she had bought her lotto ticket from a SuperValu store on return from the local employment center.
At the time, she was living on Â£ 58 a week.
“STRABANE WILL ALWAYS BE AT HOME”
After matching five numbers and two lucky stars, she said she intended to “make a lot of people happy.”
She pledged to give Â£ 1million to her sister and each of her four brothers and handed out thousands to others.
When asked if she would be relocating from the area, she replied: âStrabane will always be at home for me. “
A year later, she was transferred to Derry’s Gransha Hospital after learning that she was “a danger to herself and to others”.
As his mental health deteriorated, his weight at one point plunged to five and a half stones.
“NOBODY LISTENING TO ME”
Speaking from the secure mental institution in 2014, she said: âThey say I am mentally unstable and have been for 20 years.
âIf so, why is there no record of my treatment for mental illness?
“If I have been in pain for 20 years, why now?
“I totally disagree with what happened but no one is listening to me.”
In 2014, she bought the listed historic Herdman’s Mill building at Sion Mills for Â£ 1million with the intention of turning it into a hotel.
That same year, she got into a fight with the local Sion Mills cricket club after they were kicked out of their field on the mill’s 60-acre grounds.
She then came to an agreement to allow her to use the land again.
Speaking in 2019, she said her lottery win had “sent her to hell and back.”
She said, âMoney has only brought me grief. It destroyed my life.
And she said anonymous people had ‘stolen millions’ from her since hitting the jackpot, claiming she had Â£ 5million left.
She said: âI regret winning the lottery, of course I do. I was a happy person before. I am a human being and all he has done is destroy my life. “
In 2015, she was ordered by a judge to perform 150 hours of community service after being convicted of assaulting a taxi driver.
THE RELIGION OF THE MOQUE MAN
A court heard that there had been an alcohol-related incident outside his home.
Last year the millionaire was ordered to pay Â£ 30,000 in compensation to a former employee.
Patrick Breslin called for an unfair dismissal and said Ms Loughrey made fun of him for his deep religious faith.
He had complained that she had sent him a photograph of a statue of the Virgin Mary holding a cigarette and a glass of whiskey.
Another snapshot, he claimed, was of a teddy bear lying over an image of the Virgin Mary.
The lottery winner wrote: “The puppet you adore is no longer a virgin”.
‘A LOT OF GIFTS TO BONDS’
She appealed the court’s decision unsuccessfully.
More recently Ms Loughrey, married for about a year in the 1980s, bought The Greyhound Bar in Strabane and intended to remodel it.
Mr Gallagher said: “Cars were something she probably wanted and she left even though she didn’t drive.”
He said her “legal wrangling” in which she had become involved did not reveal her true character.
âShe has donated a lot to charity,â he said.
âThere were a number of community groups she donated money to in the town of Strabane.
âShe also donated money to the Special Olympics. But she was never at the front having her picture taken handing over a check.
“She didn’t want any of that.”
CALL FOR “WELL-BEING CARE”
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland ambulance service said on Thursday: “We were called in an emergency to the Ballycolman district of Strabane at 10:30 am this morning.
“No patient has been removed from the scene.”
Jason Barr, a local SDLP adviser, said Ms Loughrey “has had ups and downs in life like all of us, but I hope she’s off her feet now.”
Party colleague and Assembly member Mark H Durkan said: âIt is clear from her public life that she was vulnerable and that other vulnerable people were exposed to great changes after earning huge sums of money. lotteries.
“I think the National Lottery and other lottery operators should look at ways to provide long-term welfare care to vulnerable people after winning large amounts and not just financial advice.”