Seasoned and entrepreneurial Cape Clear islanders Ciarán and Mary O’Driscoll are selling their 1997 purpose-built bar and restaurant O Drisceoil’s, on the island, along with self-catering houses. The sale is due to their new business venture, running ferries (a Ro-Ro one for cars, plus 10 fast ferries daily, employing 18) to Rathlin Island, off the Antrim Coast, within view of the Giant’s Causeway.
In an even bigger leap, they are also due to start a second ferry business in Torquay, England, in November. The couple, who ran the Cape Clear ferry from 2006-2008, have several tourism businesses on Cape Clear, and will retain links and a home there, but have opted to sell their stand-alone bar/restautant, as their twin sons Aidan and David aged 32 are working elsewhere.
“It’s a great place to rear a family, it’s so safe and this is a great chance for a young couple — like we were 20 years ago — to make a lifestyle move,” enthuses vendor Mary O’Driscoll, adding the island was poised for a new surge of business next year once a multi-million euro harbour and dock construction is completed.
Cape’s business is seasonal, but strong — not anywhere in the league of the Aran Islands, but good by all other measures — and it is also home to two Irish language colleges, which bring visiting parents in their wake each summer. The island is also home to up to 120 inhabitants, a second pub, shop/cafe, and is a noted bird-watching location.
For sale are the purpose-built bar/restaurant business, along with six holiday homes, plus an unfinished 12 bed house.
The bar/restaurant with kitchen, function room, and five-bed staff quarters has a €250,000 guide quoted by Andy Donoghue of Hodnett Forde. He puts a separate €500,000 guide on the residential offer, including six self-catering units (four are three-bed houses, and two are one-bed apartments) in an adjacent cluster. Individually the houses would have a value of €80,000-€100,000, Mr Donoghue suggests.