Sale ends link with old city family

THE family name of one of Cork’s much-reduced Jewish community is recalled in a suburban house they lived in from the mid-1900s.

Elyan, in Ballincurrig Park in Douglas, is a 1939-build home which bears the name of the Elyan family whose name has now, otherwise, died out in Cork following the current generation’s decision to live in London.

And, a link with the Jewish Sabbath rituals is also signalled clearly here in Elyan: the kitchen has a panel of bells - more typically seen in large period homes - to request service from a number of rooms in the house, despite its relatively humble semi-d status. Strict observance of the Saturday Sabbath meant the family wasn’t able to perform any tasks on this day, and so even putting coal on the fire had to be done by another person, in this case a live-in house maid.

One of the four first floor bedrooms in Elyan was used by this house-help, and the original porcelain sink is still in place in this room as a small reminder of different days.

Members of the Elyan family came back to Cork to visit this now-extended four-bed estate home in inner-Douglas (near the swimming pool) when they heard that it was coming up for sale.

Its vendors have been here since the 1980s and are moving out to a country property to indulge a love of horses. Their move out is, in effect, a reverse of one of Cork’s current dominant market trends, a desire to locate in the older suburbs to beat traffic woes.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Douglas, and inner-Douglas in particular, to those estates within a short drive or a walk to the city centre, thereby skipping the village’s and hillside suburbs’ traffic congestion.

As a result of such demand, prices have jumped in the last couple of years for fairly typical semis, from around €400,000 to a strong €600,000 and over, even for homes in need of work. Elyan arrives for sale with what may be a very modest €595,000 guide price quoted by Hugh McPhillips of Marsh’s auctioneers, who says he expects strong viewing interest.

The good news for those who come a-bidding on Elyan is that the family home doesn’t need any obvious work at all: it has been generously extended at ground level while still keeping enough back garden. It has an attic conversion and, critically, the drains and subsidence work have been attended to in the last couple of years. It also has double glazing and gas heating.

And, it has been done without losing the essential charm and character for this fine PJ Hegarty-built semi, one of three pairs of distinctive semis in the cul de sac estate where houses only come up once every few years.

It has twin reception rooms, with fireplaces and sliding connecting doors and garden access, the kitchen has quality ORM maple units and large dining space off and French doors to the patio, and to the side of the house there’s virtually a self-contained apartment with separate and main house access, with en suite bathroom. Other plumbing provision includes a guest WC off the hallway, and a first-floor family bathroom.

Features of the house include 9’ high ceiling and some plaster work, original oak floor in the hall and new oak floors in the kitchen, the adaptable converted attic space - and the Grant internal domestic service bells.

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