THE restored library at Combermere Abbey in Shropshire has won the 2016 Restoration Award presented by the Historic Houses Association and sponsored by Sotheby’s. 

The award is for the most recent restoration of the north wing and in recognition of the 24-year project to bring the house back to life. 

Owned since 1919 by the Callander Beckett family, the house suffered severe deterioration over many years. 

The stable block was converted to make nine holiday cottages, the library, formerly the Abbot’s Hall, was restored, ancillary buildings were patched up and the north wing has been converted into luxurious bedrooms and a bridal suite.

John Doherty’s photo realist painting of McCarthy’s Garage, Schull illustrated last week on these pages sold for a hammer price of €2,800 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online Irish art sale on Monday. 

The auction demonstrated the enduring popularity of Irish artists and 86% of the lots on offer were sold. 

‘Night, the Lighthouse Cat’ by John Shinnors made €3,600; ‘Towards Evening, Sligo’ by Arthur Maderson made €5,000; ‘Escape V’ by Majella O’Neill Collins made €1,700; ‘Catkins in a Vase’ by Pauline Bewick made €2,200; ‘Cockerel’ by Basil Blackshaw made €2,000; ‘Wild Meadow’ by Kenneth Webb made €4,800; ‘Summer Pool’ by Sean MacSweeney made €3,000; ‘Wild Cow and Caragh Lake’ by Pauline Bewick made €5,000; ‘Prisoner of the Earth’ by Daniel O’Neill made €4,200, and ‘Gathering the Turf’ by Markey Robinson made €3,400.


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