The other Long Island

Tommy Barker on a familiar-sounding island that’s nowhere near New York.

REMOTENESS is a matter of scale when it comes to island living.

Islands can attract loners, but they also can foster tight-knit communities, and in today’s communications age you can be almost as contactable or as cut-off as you want to be... if you choose wisely.

Some islands you can drive onto, via a bridge, causeway, or just wade out to at low tide. Others need ferries, fast RIBs, currachs or helicopters to access.

Long Island, off the coast of West Cork and one of Carbery’s 100 Isles, is one of the more approachable in lots of ways.

Home to a couple of dozen homes, it is only a few minutes’ boat trip from Colla Pier near bustling Schull, and the crossing is sheltered in most weather conditions, certainly not as gruelling as an open-ocean haul.

A few of the homes here have changed hands this year in the €350,000 price bracket, and now left to sell before end of year is East House, so called as it is the most easterly of Long Island’s houses, half a mile from the main pier.

Carrying a €380,000 price tag with Pat Maguire of SWS Property Services, it comes with several unique, or at least strong selling features: notable are its shore frontage, stony beaches and 11 acres. It has been owned for years by John Abbott, a staunch defender of island life and Long Island and its occupants, and is described as “a traditional Long Island fisherman’s cottage.”

It has inland views to Mount Gabriel, out then to Cape Clear and the sea sentinel Fastnet lighthouse. And it has its own cove with protruding rocky fingers, shelving shingle and private mooring. It has a stone outhouse and scope, thanks to its site and setting for further development. Linking the house, just under 100 years old, and the 24’ by 16’ outbuildings/studio would be an obvious move, subject to planning permission.

There’s an element of self-sufficiency at present, with a private electricity supply, water supply and drainage, and the sheltered side has a productive veg garden. When you can’t make it to the mainland shop, just dig up your dinner.

For independent access this property offering includes a 16’ long wooden boat, 20 hp outboard engine, and old Land Rover, so the sale is very much a case of oar-locks, stock and barrel.

According to Pat Maguire of SWS, the spot “is reminiscent of times gone by, and is an idyllic hideaway.”

The 11 accompanying acres are in two portions, with one plot of land running down to the sea, with frontage to shingled beaches, giving scope for summer moorings and bathing.

The house has two bedrooms with views, a small sitting room with sea views, a kitchen/dining room with beamed ceilings, and a new bathroom is being installed.

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