The book was Ireland, a Terrible Beauty, and was a collaboration by husband and wife team Leon and Jill Uris. She did the photographs, he (the author of Exodus, Mila 18 and other mega-selling novels) wrote the text and commentary, and it followed his blockbuster Irish historical saga Trinity.
First published in 1976, it borrowed its title from the line by WB Yeats and was, according to its authors “a love song,” full of warmth for Irish welcomes and friendship, even if it was all against a backdrop of a mean economic backdrop.
Things dipped further in the more depressed 1980s, and then came the Celtic Tiger era, and with it a physically transforming period in almost every city, town and Irish village as construction boomed.
Indicating the changes is this Allihies house, built on the site of that empty crossroads house and called Crossroads, which had gone to total dereliction before being removed to make the way for a modern and comfortable replacement.
Crossroads is unusual in being detached, right in the midst of a village, and every local amenity is to hand, from shop to post office, restaurant and choice of pubs .... so no need for a car.
Allihies is on the shoulder of a broad hill running out along the Beara Peninsula and down to the sea, with the peninsula finger stretching out into the Atlantic from Glengarriff to Dursey Island and its cable car, with a strong tourism base thanks to its spectacular scenery.
How spectacular? Well, enough to have canny investors starting to build a six-star hotel on the site of the former Puxley mansion, by Dunboy Castle, confident they’ll deliver a world-class tourism product to match the area’s beauty.
JJ O’Sullivan of Castletownbere is handling the sale of this three-bed detached house, priced at €349,000 with about 1,400 sq ft of space on its two levels.
He says the village setting will appeal to many who just want to chill out and forget about driving everywhere.
Traditionally built by Paddy Crowley of Eyeries Construction, Crossroads has an open plan ground floor layout with a large living room, a smartly tiled floor and white walls for maximum brightness, a fully-fitted kitchen and dining room, utility room, guest WC and ground floor hotpress.
Overhead is a big landing with overhead skylight, drawing in daylight, there are three bedrooms, the big master bedroom has an en suite bathroom, plus a separate shower room. Well insulated, the house has electric heating throughout and is in perfect decorative condition. There’s an enclosed sunny patio behind, with glorious views from inside and out, with sandy Ballydonegan strand and its trademark soft white sand just a few minutes walk away.