Crookhaven has hosted visitors from another galaxy. Tommy Barker looks at one of its star attractions.
There have been two invasions of Crookhaven’s Brow Head and Galley Cove in the past two years, each involving hordes of 200 or so descending on the picturesque village, amid dramatic scenery.
One got a huge welcome, the other stirred resentment and condemnation; one hit Twitter, the other’s going to go even more mega global.
The anti-social behaviour of 200 drunken teenagers blighted Galley Cove back in summer 2015, when they left the beach looking like a scene of devastation after the filming of Private Ryan, littered with abandoned tents, sleeping bags, and beer cans.
It was widely condemned, far and wide, and across social, print and broadcast media.
It was a different kettle of fish when in May 2016 Disney’s Lucasfilm Ltd visited the area, to film scenes for Star Wars Episode Vlll, atop Brow Head among craggy caves and mines shafts at Ireland’s most southerly point.
The Star Wars crew, and actors, and supports stayed locally for about a week, to great welcome, albeit with confidentiality clauses all stitching up lips until the film’s release in late 2017.
Filming on Brow Head included stars like Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley, under director/writer Rian Johnson, and the space opera crew also shot in locations as diverse as Malin Head, Mizen’s neighbouring Brow Head, Dingle, and in Dubrovnik last March.
It’s expected the film’s release will show far more of Ireland’s coastline than briefly climaxed in The Force Awakens, released over a year ago, and is likely to reprise Skellig Michael footage, as well as scenes top and tailing the Wild Atlantic Way.
Brow Head and Crookhaven have already spanned the oceans, over a century ago in then-‘new’ media, when in 1904 Guglielmo Marconi erected a telephonic communciation tower here for relaying transatlantic messages from ships from the US to Britain and on to Europe.
And, a century prior to that, ‘Crook’ was already an important point for transatlantic shipping, in times of war and peace, with a signal tower on Brow Head to warn of invasions from countries like France, if not from distant galaxies, far away.
Hoping to reap some of the stardust sprinked on Crookhaven are the vendors of this dramatically-sited Galley Cove modern build, a five-bedroomed, stone faced dormer home on an acre, on the last leg of road into holiday hot-spot Crookhaven.
Locally-based, the house’s owners have used it for rentals (so it may even have held some Star Wars crew last May?) and selling agent Pat Maguire who’s based in Skibbereen says it’s very well finished, with magnificent views over the wild Atlantic, rocky shoreline, of passing ships and yachts, and the Fastnet, a mile from Barleycove beach.
It has a living room with corner fireplace in a stone chimney breast, kitchen/dining room with timber units, gable-end sun room, and five en suite bedroom, with one ground floor bedroom. There’s central vac, and oil central heating.
Pat Maguire seeks offers around €745,000, which is at the upper end of the price scale even for Crookhaven.
The Price Register doesn’t show any sales over €400,000 in seven years with a Crookhaven address, but it’s understood Mr Maguire had a very strong local sale in the latter half of 2016 yet to turn up on the register, and which he says is encouraging for the sale of this late new year arrival.
VERDICT: May the Gale Force go with it.
Crookhaven, West Cork €745,000
Size: 205 sq m (2,200 sq ft)
Best Feature: Stellar setting
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