IT’S no joke — the asking price on the former school building done up by writer and political cartoonist, the late Flann O’Riain, has had its asking price chopped by more than a half.
The 1872-built national school at Ardane, Aherlow, by the foot of Galtees, has dropped to €80,000, down from €179,000 two years ago when it was put up for sale after Mr O’Riain’s passing.
The creator of the 1960s television series for children Daithí Lacha (the static image cartoon ran from the station’s earliest days in 1962, up to 1969) also developed a further TV series called Rí Rá agus Ruaille Buaille, and did cartons for several publications, including Hibernia, under the pseudonym Doll. Mr O’Riain acquired this Tipperary stone-built school in the early 1990s, throwing himself into its make-over homework with gusto, keeping essential character while adding heating, a sun room room, extending and installing double glazing.
Selling agent is Tipp’s Tim Ryan of Sherry FitzGerald Ryan, who has personal links to the building as his mother attended in her own childhood; he recently took a small family group back to relive classrooms days where a few nostalgic tears were shed, he notes.
He describes the converted and extended (now 1,066 sq ft) building as a rural pied a terre or bolt-hole, yet it’s only four miles from the N24 and eight from the M8, and basically it’s at the foot of the Galtees, within a walk of the Foot bar, while the Glen of Aherlow and region is walkers’ heaven. For fliers, Cork and Shannon airports are about an hour away by car.
After a number of years dereliction before its make-over, the extended schoolhouse has been made a protected structure: it’s a single storey dwelling, with lots of exposed stone, has oil central heating, solid fuel stove in a stone fireplace, and is on a half an acre in all.
VERDICT: With such a price drop to €80k, Ardane’s old national school is a cheap lesson in natural, easy lifestyle.