You’ll get more for less in unique home that’s ideal for seafarers

YOU’LL get more for less now at Poulnacallee, on the way to Turk Head from Skibbereen in west Cork, across the bay from Baltimore. This modern build, which doffs its cap to traditional materials, first hit the market in late spring 2008, optimistically in search of a buyer for €1.5 million, and was then offered on an acre of land, with a guest cottage.

Now, after market contractions, this price has been reduced to offers sought ‘in excess of €800,000’ with Charles P McCarthy of Skibbereen.

And instead of the single acre it was first put up for sale on, it now has two acres included in the sale, as well as a 20m strip of foreshore – so there’s very much a case of more property, for way less money.

This is, in anyone’s book, real boating territory so the extra bit of land and shoreline will have a real appeal for marine types – especially as boat is the quickest way to get to maritime haven Baltimore, rather than the long half-hour trawl around by road. Also nearby is Cunnamore pier, a busy embarking spot for Heir Island.

The couple selling at Poulnacallee, Mike and Julie Williams, came to west Cork in the mid 1990s, via Lismore in Waterford, the US and the UK, and built this place slowly, by direct labour.

Mike and his brother Gubby Williams are also noted boat-builders, making traditional Heir Island sloops, and have helped build up a local fleet of a couple of dozen classic-looking craft here. Buy the house, and he might even throw one in gratis, handy when there’s a slipway a few minutes away from the house’s front door.

The owners started here with a clean slate, green site and built as best they could for the views: they even set up a ladder on the back of a truck to get their land-lubber bearings right for views, aspect and windows placement. Julie’s background as a graphic designer gave her the necessary drawing and visualisation skills. Mike’s background was in up-market kitchen and cabinetry making, as a director with the acclaimed bespoke maker Smallbone of Devizes in the UK. So, as you might guess, you’ll find one-offs in this finished house – for instance, the kitchen and its solid island unit was made from a fallen chestnut tree from the Lismore Estate in Waterford.

The T-shaped upstairs is very open plan, with a solid fuel stove at the back end, under Velux windowed sloped ceilings, and there’s balcony access off the other end via sliding patio doors, by the kitchen, with some of its units painted a jaunty blue.

It gets light through all the seasons, and both the house and its two-bed guest cottage across a courtyard settle well into their mounded landscape setting.

The ground floor of the main house has a games room with garden/patio access, a sun room by the courtyard, and three bedrooms plus utility.

The separate, detached cottage, has its living space at ground level, with two overhead bedrooms, and can be lent to friends, or maybe used for additional rental income.

Maeve McCarthy of Charles P McCarthy is now in charge of selling at scenic and coastal-set Poulnacalee, and she says its dramatically adjusted price should see it figure back on the radar of marine and non-marine house buyers alike.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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