YOU are almost at the end point of Ireland, when you get to Castletownbere and the narrowing and indented sections of the ridiculously scenic Beara Peninsula — so, it’s handy to a have a boat in your back yard to get around in, to explore the coastline, and perhaps do a bit of fishing into the bargain, writes Tommy Barker
That’s what many of the homeowners along this Wild Atlantic Way shoreline seem to do, but few can do it with as much aplomb as the fortunate occupants of this Droum West waterfront property can.
Their one acre plot and fine fettle property, and private pier, all face south over a sheltered inlet, looking towards Dunboy Castle amid the trees and greenery. The castle, and its long-stalled conversion to a luxury hotel and apartments/villa complex remains an emblem if ever there was one of the over-arching ambitions of the Celtic Tiger heights.
Right at the edge of this property’s azalea and heather-strewn woodland grounds is a small private beach, pier, and a mooring buoy, and it gives the house’s owners access to the water and the wild. Further up the creek the water drops more with the tides, but right here there’s a bit more depth, so it’s more a case of plain sailing, as and when you wish.
Listed just this week with local agent JJ O’Sullivan, this is an intriguing offer, a fully upgraded and extended c 1970s ‘modern’ bungalow, all now remodernised to 21st century standards, highly glazed, doubled in size, and very well fitted out.
It’s sort of an object lesson in how to maximise the potential of a house to match a site and views, at least when the funds are sufficient, and asking price for this c 2,200 sq f comfortable build is a quoted €475,000.
And, it turns out estate agent JJ Sullivan know this property quite well in all its guises, as he and his family built it day one (the O’Sullivan clan have blocks and bricks in their bloodline) for a Dutch family.
It since changed hands, and in the early to middle 2000s its current owners who are based in the UK sought, and eventually got, permission to significantly remodel it to what it is now, a quality build where all the attention is still drawn out of the triple-glazed windows, to the water and the view. In broad-brush strokes, it’s likely that the ‘old’ house changed hands for a similar sort of sum as is now being sought, and the work and consequent expenditure may well have been in the same sort of price league.
The owners made good use of it at least, visiting every couple of months and spending long summer months here, Mr O’Sullivan indicates, while the last few years of the Wild Atlantic Way have reversed the previous ebbing economic tides for Castletownbere. It’s now looking stunning once more, with visitor vibrancy, a destination in its own right and even more of a package when added to the peninsula mix that includes Bere Island, beaches, Buddhist retreat, villages like Eyeries and Allihies, and the sheer novelty of the cable car trip to Dursey Island.
Landing back at Droum West, this property is one of a half dozen or so exceptionally sited, one-off homes in a sheltered backwater poking out from the woods a few miles west of Castletownbere and just before the mouth of the bay leading between Bere Island and the safe fishing and tourism port itself.
Grounds are well-kept and colourfully planted, and there’s a detached garage done with the same high-quality roofing as the main, mono-pitch roofed residence.
The house itself is a good-sized three-bed, with spacious master suite with walk-in robes and shower room, and it’s reached past a study area/corridor with views. There’s a split level hall/entrance with glass baluster, living/dining, lounge and kitchen, with several clerestory windows under the membrane roof’s higher lip.
Heating is underfloor, windows are triple-glazed powder-coated blue/grey aluminium, with electrically operated blinds. Many windows are sliders, opening to flagged and gravelled patios and a cobble lock terrace seating for views, with stainless steel rails.
VERDICT: Bang up to spec.
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