A cottage of note

THE chance to get hip to the square has cropped up on Cork city’s North Mall — the Abbey Square home of Frank and Walters guitarist Niall Linehan is up for grabs.

The Indie rock/pop musician is part of the occasional gigging and recording threesome The Frank and Walters, which with fellow members Paul Linehan and Ashley Keating flowered in the early and mid-1990s along with local contemporaries the Sultans of Ping.

For a glorious period they dominated Top of the Pops: the Franks' massive hit, a perfect pop jingle called After All sold up to 500,000 copies, and the band's albums sell up to 20,000 copies a throw around Europe.

With six albums under their belt, and a seventh being written right now, royalties still wander in and to date a lot of the Franks' cash has gone into property.

"We were cagey feckers. When we got an advance, it went into buying a house," says Niall, who is selling his own so-central Cork house to fund a move and new project idea to an undisclosed location west of Cork city.

When not involved in band business, 34-year-old Niall runs Currans restaurant on Adelaide Street as well as the Church Restaurant in Skibbereen both of them family projects with input from his father, master craftsman and cabinet maker Leo Linehan, and other siblings.

The 120-seat Currans is now well established, while the 100-seat Skibbereen venture opened this Summer is set in a carefully converted former Methodist church.

Given his family background and a childhood spent working in his father's workshop, it's not surprising that Niall was handy when it came to doing up 2, Abbey Square on the North Mall, a 120-year-old three-sided enclave of just 10 double-fronted cottages close to North Gate Bridge.

It is steeped in character and charm, with exposed old slob brick walls, lots of exposed and salvage timbers, radiators are old cast iron salvage and internal doors came from Our Lady's Hospital.

Number 2 has a ground floor living room, open plan to a galley kitchen, a slight back hall with storage space leads to a well-finished and fully tiled bathroom, there's one ground floor bedroom and two overhead bedrooms, one large, one small.

Its selling agents are David Busteed of Twomey Crowley in Bandon and TJ Cronin of Irish and European in Cork city, and price guide is €295,000, likely to nudge over €300,000 in bidding given the quality of its interior and accessible location.

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