Dunany delight gives stunning views of ever-changing harbour view

With almost an acre of landscaped, grounds and picture windows, Dunany could be your delight, says Tommy Barker.

It might be almost 50 years of age now, but when you see a house like Dunany, you sort of know there was an architect’s input into it, even down to the sizing, shaping and positioning of windows, for maximum harbour views.

If it were being built now, it would probably be a ‘glass box,’ or an upside down home, given the sweep of vista to be enjoyed from its large, picture windows and almost an acre of landscaped, tiered and terraced grounds with bursts of lawns, on Carrigmahon Hill, in the Cork harbour setting of Glenbrook.

Turns out, the 1970-built Dunany was, indeed, professionally, architect designed, done by the well-regarded Cork architect Pat Whelan, who gave it an A-line brick and render facade, with four picture windows (symmetrically two up, two down,) on its east and water-aspected facade, while it’s entered to the side, by a heavily glazed approach next to linked garages, one a double garage, next to a single garage and each separated by an access arch.

The same architect, Mr Whelan, had gone even taller on some of his other Cork domestic designs: a case in point was his own A-frame family holiday home by Owenahincha beach, still standing, and still looking unabashedly modern in its coastal setting on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Overlooking a narrowed stretch of Cork harbour, and the Cross River Ferry between Glenbrook and Carrigaloe, between the wider expanses of Monkstown, and the widening inner harbour stretch is Dunany, now an executive sale for the estate of a senior Cork banker, whose family got to enjoy the grounds, setting and privacy from this c 2,000 sq ft, bright two-story home, reached from a tree-lined avenue.

And, as it’s on the best part of an acre of land, there may very well be some development scope for a second dwelling here on a portion of the grounds, suggests selling agent, Douglas village-based Gerard O’Dea of O’Dea Properties, along with property consultant John Collins who is a close neighbour of this Glenbrook hillside property and who extols the joys of the setting.

The family selling now had explored the possibility of getting a planning grant (close-by, a five acre wooded section below the period Carrigmahon House is for sale with a planning likelihood of one-to-four new houses, at €750,000), and the indications were broadly favourable at Dunany, but they haven’t formally pursued that option.

As it stands, Dunany was launched at a price ask of €700,000, and has a good offer on it in the mid €600ks bracket, so the omens for a sale are looking good.

Internally, it is as the kind expression goes ‘of its time,’ so the expected features of the ’70s era are here in abundance, such as high ceilinged entry hall, parana pine sheeting and ceilings, zig-sag open tread stairs, wrought iron rail work, and some split levels or internal steps, such as between the double aspect dining room and the lounge which has a stone fireplace and chimney breast, with copper canopy, and timber ceiling beams.

Apart from that ‘time-piece’ ‘step-down’ set of rooms, there’s also a kitchen/breakfast room with oak units, shower room, guest WC and study/play room/optional bedrooms five.

Upstairs, are four bedrooms (just about in pre-en suite days,) some with louvered built-ins, plus main family bathroom: the agents describe its 2,000 sq ft over two levels as “ample pleasant and homely reception and sleeping accommodation.” 

The challenge – and it’s a relatively easy one in some respects - will be to update decoratively without losing the spirit of the original, so even losing some of the swirly carpets will be a first step. 

Tacking the causes of an E2 BER will be another priority, perhaps, but as it’s presented, many of Dunany’s windows now have replacement pvc double panes, and heating (apart from the open fire) is via oil.

Might it be extended? It has prospects, on all sides, pretty much, and given the energy efficiency traits now of upmarket glazing, something ‘glassy’ of the 2020s, might be considered in next ownership.

And, then, of course, there’s always the hopes of a site, at some future time.

VERDICT: A cracking setting for ever-changing harbour movement views.

Glenbrook, Cork Harbour


Size: 184 sq m (2,000 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4/5

Bathrooms: 2/3


Best Feature: site and setting

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