SHE’S lived in the Bronx, Carlow, Notting Hill, Wicklow and out of a suitcase – but, thanks to a global pandemic, top Irish and Hollywood actor Saoirse Ronan can’t yet get to visit and move into her new West Cork hideaway holiday home.
The 26-year old Hollywood and theatre actor got the key of her modern, c €800,000 stone-faced Ballydehob coastal home just within the last month. She bought it after a West Cork property trawl during 2020, around scenic areas where she has previously holidayed with her mother Monica.
But, new Covid-19 travel restrictions which kicked in mid-October mean the new retreat is rather outside Ms Ronan’s 5km commute distance, at least until December 1.
Having sold her Irish home in Greystones a year ago for €1.6m, might she be ‘down west Cork way’ and Ballydehob for Christmas?
The Golden Globe winner and four-time Oscar and Bafta nominee has plumped for a low key holiday home location about 5kms from Ballydehob, and a bit further from Schull where she’s been a guest at the Fastnet Film Festival in recent times.
She’s closed a deal on a scenic, little-visited back-water spot called Foilnamuck, coincidentally a place with views across Roaringwater Bay to fellow actor Jeremy Irons’ Kilcoe Castle.
The Foilnamuck townland name, in the Barony of Skull, rather unromantically translates as ‘Pigs’ Blood,’ and holds just a handful of homes.
There’s one even plusher property adjoining Saoirse Ronan’s fresh purchase which has been on the market with a €1.45m price tag, on 2.5 acres with shingle beach, hot tub, pontoon and a pond. It's just gone 'sale agreed' with agents Charles P McCarthy, whose buyers might be surprised to find their next door neighbour looks remarkably familiar.
Called Glaisin Ailinn, it's quite the A-lister sort of property, but in any case, it's one she chose not to go for, being most expensive listings in the greater Schull/Ballydehob area.
The seasoned actor, who’s been working since the age of 13, is estimated to be worth €7m, also declined a €350,000 modern dormer bungalow there as auctioneers James Lyons O’Keeffe noted “the variety and style of the property in the townland of Foilnamuck, which is located at the upper end of Roaring Water Bay, is very different, to say the least.”
However, estate agent Colm Cleary of Schull-based James Lyons O’Keeffe did secure the successful sale of another Foilnamuck property to Ms Ronan.
Her new home had been on and off the market with various West Cork agents, and Mr Cleary did the deal off-market, with the price yet to appear on the Price Register. It's likely to be in or around the €800k level, but Mr Cleary declined to comment on his secured sale.
The West Cork property purchase comes less than a year after London-based Saoirse Ronan sold her 4,800 sq ft Greystones Co Wicklow five-bed Edwardian-style home for €1.6m.
She then spent last Christmas with her parents Paul and Monica, noting at the time "I’m always going to be in Ireland in some capacity. It’s my home. My family is there and my dog is there. So I can go anywhere in the world knowing I have a lovely place to come back to.”
She has more Irish home options now, too, and her dog Fran (called after a character in Love/Hate) will love it too.