Attention-seeking home of ex-servicemen in Cork has it taped

Attention-seeking home of ex-servicemen in Cork has it taped

Boreenmanna Road, Cork City: €360,000

Size: 183 sq m -1,958 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4

BER: D2

NO 9 Haig Gardens has feet in two very different historical camps: first up, it’s set in a niche cul de sac of homes built in the 1920s for Irish ex-servicemen who fought for Britain in the First World War and was named after Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.

And, in a more modern era, No 9 Haig Gardens was at the ‘cutting edge’ of communications and even information technology, when a room in the house traded briefly as a video shop, in the early and glorious day of VHS video.

In the same family hands for the best part of a century and much extended, No 9 will vaguely ring bells of recollection and rewind for the early adapters to video technology, with the VHS and Betamax formats bursting onto the scene in the late 1970s, internationally and soon after in Ireland, and into the early 1980s.

This was about the sea-change time when RTÉ introduced a second Irish TV channel, 1978; in 1979 Pope John Paul visited these shores, and the shackles of institutional control began to fall off, almost in a precursor of the internet, with video consumers able to decide what they wanted to watch when they wanted to watch it, with ranges from cartoons to pornography, plus the ability to record to rewatch and to film.

Attention-seeking home of ex-servicemen in Cork has it taped

It was revolutionary, stirring times, indeed. As the sector and demand and video selection range grew, as well as lots of calling customers, the occupants of No 9 Haig Gardens eventually had to pull down the ‘shop’ shutters at this cul-de-sac domestic setting for their video hire outlet.

They instead opened a more formal shop in Blackrock village: at the time, others in the unregulated sector had tapes available to hire from private homes, car boots, horseboxes, market stalls and under-shop counters.

And a family member still recalls the sign-writer misspelling the new Blackrock village shop’s signboard as Hayg Videos.

There was nothing sloppy about the original Haig, the military general and Chief of Staff of the British Expeditionary Forces. Depending on which or whose history you read, he was either the man who won the First World War for Britain or a blunderer whose reckless decisions lead to the unnecessary death of hundreds of thousands of troops, in profligate waste-of-youthful lives battles such as the Somme.... 35,000 Irishmen died in WWl.

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s name has been attached to the 20 or so homes at Cork’s Haig Gardens for the best part of a century. Other nearby terraces similarly built for ex-British servicemen on the nearby Ballinlough Road include Bryan’s Terrace and Douglas Terrace.

Attention-seeking home of ex-servicemen in Cork has it taped

Older Cork residents, with varying historical and political perspectives, might recall such links gave a bit of a recoil that lasted decades — almost up to centenary 1918 commemorations of the end of that Great War, with prejudices only slowly erased with passing generations.

Time has been kind, generally, to Haig Gardens, where the small number of terraced and semi-detached house are on good-size sites, with mature gardens, most in a cul de sac, with only a few on the main Boreenmanna Road.

No 9 is in by the circular turning point, on a wedge-shaped and largely private site, and is almost certainly the largest house in the park, have been extended several times, and to side and rear decades ago, mostly recently in 1983.

Effectively double fronted with a central porch, it’s got a surprising c1,950 sq ft within, and five bedrooms, as well as a good selection of ground floor rooms, and up to four bathrooms.

Selling agent is Conor Smith of Casey & Kingston: he launched it last week with a €360,000 AMV, and already had it under offer at €340,00 by this week.

It needs some modernising now, but has been invested in at various stages and has central heating and double glazing with a D2 BER, all within a short march of Cork city centre.

Attention-seeking home of ex-servicemen in Cork has it taped

Because it’s within 5kms of a swathe of Cork city, and as it’s unoccupied, Mr Smith has been able to do some physical viewings here, scheduling four viewers per hour, 15 minutes per party with advice re sanitisation before and after.

The location is very strong for its range of services and city proximity: “it’s a great opportunity to purchase an ideal family home, or it may suit a discerning investor,” says Mr Smith.

Apart from the west-facing house’s accommodation on a sunny corner plot, there’s a big block-built shed, and courtyard, plus off-street parking.

The Price Register shows the last sale at Haig Gardens being no 5, which made €312,000 in 2018, over its initial €295,000 asking price.

No 1 Haig Gardens was briefly on the market six months ago, but was withdrawn, and adjoins the former Glenanaar Bar, where Bord Pleanála granted permission earlier this year for its replacement with two four-storey blocks of 27 apartments.

VERDICT: Nothing vague about Haig.

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