Tommy Barkersays you won’t take your eyes off the view, nor your toe out of the swimming pool, at this great home.
Rathmore, Kinsale €1.25m
Size: 585 sq m (6,200 sq ft)
Best Feature: Private demesne
The current owners of Ferrypoint, a large family home with 180-degree ocean views from on high, on an elevated Kinsale harbour headland, crossed the seas to get back home to it after 20 years living abroad, first in the US, and later in Brisbane, Australia.
The tug of love of the home country drew Maggie O’Mahony, a native of Kilbrittain in West Cork, and her husband, William O’Brien from Dundrum, Tipperary, back to Munster’s shores in 2012, when the eldest of their three children was about to finish elementary school.
“It was a case of then or never,” Maggie says, and having viewed properties in Clonakilty, Midleton and Kinsale, the active young family opted for an outdoor lifestyle here at Rathmore, Kinsale.
Their homestead is set on eight acres, out past the Carlton Hotel on dramatically-sited tillage fields previously earmarked for a €200m PGA Ernie Els golf course and 180 holiday lodges (the land was later bought by CEO of Tupperware, Rick Goings, for €3.75m, and is currently farmed).
What chance one billionaire sells his land to another, and a certain Donald Trump comes around post November elections, to buy another Irish golf course challenge?
It’s known that the Trump looked over the elevated Old Head Golf Course some years ago, before buying Doonbeg in Co Clare, very much more down in the dunes at sea level, as he’s discovered.
It took a bit of, eh, persuading, for some of the O’Mahony/O’Brien clan to come round to moving to Irish shores.
A certain daughter promised tantrums in the airport as she didn’t want to leave firm friends she’s grown up with in Brisbane, and even the lure of an indoor, 11m swimming pool coming with the promised new Irish home didn’t cut much ice... the family already had a pool at its sunnier-climes, Aussie home.
But, home they came, and are delighted to be back.
As well as picking up this big ‘ranch’ home and up to eight acres of scenic headland grounds in a still recessionary 2012/’13 for a reported €930,000 they also bought a farm, closer to Cork airport.
Now, they hope to build/get a home by that farm, and they’ve put Ferrypoint back up for sale.
Externally, it looks pretty similar to how it appeared in these pages in late 2012, when it was owned by former Irish Examiner CEO Alan Crosbie and his wife Mary, who reared a family of five here, only selling to downsize and move to West Cork. with depleted family nest or clutch.
Designed by architect Peter Murphy, and built by Paddy O’Halloran, Ferrypoint is a tall, and very accommodating, three-storey home on a height, with the very best views from the upper levels (planners insisted it be built back into the land, on the site of an old cottage and adjoining farm barn buildings) and it scores a very impressive B2 BER, thanks to solar panels and wind turbines.
Its green credentials are added to by a big storage barn, a glass house, veg beds and pastures for a pony, only in this case there’s no equine four-legged animals, just the family’s pet springer who’s digging up a storm, and munching shrubs.
Inside, Ferrypoint has been considerably updated, and feels far brighter.
The makeover included gutting many rooms and doing all-new bathrooms in calm hues and quality tiles, lime-washed timber floors, and going for whiter shades of pale, over original exposed pine and timber, and stripping back hessian wallpapers.
Features maintained include some stone exposed stone walls, beams, and a four-oven Aga in the country-style kitchen, with solid timber units.
“I love to decorate,” Maggie says and admitted it was her husband, William, who viewed first time around as she couldn’t leave Australia at the time.
But she was more than ready to roll up her sleeves when the time to move came around. It also helps that Maggie’s sister is interior designer and interiors’ lecturer, Hannah Lordan.
As there’s about 6,000 sq ft here, give or take, plus indoor heated pool, there was no need to extend.
They pulled back from knocking walls too, so the most significant physical change — apart from upgrading finishes — was to add a walk-in robe/dressing room to the master bedroom en suite.
Adapting one of the upper level bedrooms to a sitting room was something the family considered as there are one or two perches perfect for soaking up the view. and ship watching as
The vista from this Pregane/Rathmore height spans the Sovereign Islands and Oysterhaven Bay, ocean and inland: even Cork airport 25km 15 milesaway can be discerned on a fine day.
Selling agent now for Ferrypoint is Ron Kruger of Engel and Volkers’ Kinsale office, and he says it’s ideal for a large or lively family, with “a wealth of space and just a few minutes’ drive of Kinsale,” (think ten to 15 at least), and he guides at €1.25m.
The area is rich in natural beauty, and has a host of sports amenities, many almost on the doorstep, along with spectacular headland walks and dips down to wild coves.
That sort of sum buys something far smaller back closer to the town with any sort of water view, or at Ardbrack, or up on Compass Hill: “It has recently gone through extensive renovation and updating by the current owners, making Ferrypoint a beautiful home for those seeking the space, privacy and tranquillity of this wonderful setting close to Kinsale,” Mr Kruger comments.