Leaving two by two...

CALLING all animal lovers — the perfect habitat to rear children and animals of many hoofs and hues is for sale.

A sort of west Cork equivalent to the Ark, this all-comforting retreat is a peaceful world unto itself and is currently home to a reduced menagerie of two llamas, three owls, many cats, two dogs and a horse.

That’s along with assorted wildlife and wildfowl, thanks to a pond with three islands, four and a half acres of grounds) including post and railed paddocks), field shelters, stables, stores, sheds, aviaries, a heated cattery, a capacious garage and, oh, a pristine modern detached home as well.

The home of Pat and Mick Cannon (who both have Irish family roots but who moved over here about a decade ago) is a new market offering with Skibbereen estate agent Maeve McCarthy of Charles P McCarthy, who says it is an animal lovers’ paradise.

With three grown-up children and a lifetime of animal interest and husbandry, Pat and Mick Cannon came to Ireland for the space and lifestyle, with Pat’s favourite mare, Cassie, prompting much of the reason for a move. Then, because Cassie needed animal company, and they didn’t need another horse, the llamas came along.

Since coming to Ireland, Cassie has won many local and national dressage awards under Bandon rider Rosemarie Ahern, but even she is preparing for pastures new, once more.

Mick and Pat are set to decamp for New Zealand, with 16.1 hands-high Cassie, the two Hungarian Vizsla dogs and assorted cats in tow, while other members of the Cannon menagerie — including the two stern and inquisitive Peruvian llamas (burgallarmas?) — will be farmed out to new homes in Ireland and Britain.

The couple are set to move to the southern hemisphere to jon their daughter and new grandchild in Queenstown. They are reluctantly leaving their Derryclough eyrie which they have painstaking fashioned into a private demesne, digging lakes, fashioning islands, grooming the landscape in a nature-loving way, and building a comfortable three-bed home as well.

“It’s been idyllic here, but with a new grandchild, so far away...” explains Pat, whose practical gentleness clearly doesn’t end with her love of animals. (She worked in Britain as a vet’s assistant, while Mick’s background was as a police and crime scenes photographer.)

The Cannon family’s flights of fancy took off when their then teenage daughter got interested in falconry, taking courses and ending up owning birds of prey, like kestrels. The family’s interest in birds grew (they had species like Harris hawks as well), and then an interest in owls got all-consuming. They linked up with Tony Warburton of the World Owl Trust at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, and went on to rescue and breed several owl species, such as barn and tawny owls, releasing many into the wild.

Now, they are themselves set to take flight, so Derryclough and all its perfectly presented attributes — minus the livestock — is for newly up for sale, seeking offers around €500,000.

Make a good offer and the Cannons just might throw in a pair of prowling Peruvian llamas into the bargain.


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