Charlie Haughey's  nights in Crookhaven's €850k Journey's End fitted the bill

Ambassadors, presidents, and former taoisigh - including 'walking on water' Charles Haughey,  who got washed up on the Mizen - wined,  dined and opined at Crook's waterfront spot
Charlie Haughey's  nights in Crookhaven's €850k Journey's End fitted the bill

Journey's End, Crookhaven has a colourful history, cast of characters  and a €850,000 AMV via agent Colm Cleary of James Lyons O'Keeffe


Crookhaven, West Cork

€850,000

Size

158 sq m (1,710 sq ft)

Bedrooms

3

Bathrooms

2

BER

D2

WEST Cork’s super-scenic Crookhaven village, on the Mizen peninsula, has always been known as a superb summer sport for food, drink and carousing.

Journey's End
Journey's End

But, just last weekend, a case of Covid-19 in one of the three seasonal bars saw the normally heaving coastal community effectively locked down, or, at least, effectively locked out.

Shuttered just as indoor dining lockdown restrictions were set to ease, it resulted in the village bereft of people, pints and outdoor dining at the tail end of a heatwave, despite cars parked and boats out on the water – it resembled the aftermath of a neutron bomb, where property was left intact, but persons had evaporated.

The past, booked-out Staycation weekend was due to see a gradual return and reopening of Crookhaven’s shop and bars, according to strict HSE guidelines.

Apart from the unfortunate and unforeseen dining drought and near-famine of seafood platters and toasties, much talk also centered on the arrival of this end-of-the-world peninsula property called Journey’s End for sale.

Charles J Haughey steps off the Baltimore lifeboat following his rescue from the 'Taurima' off Mizen head on the 29th September 1985. To the left is Tom Bush , Lifeboat crew. Picture Anne Minihane
Charles J Haughey steps off the Baltimore lifeboat following his rescue from the 'Taurima' off Mizen head on the 29th September 1985. To the left is Tom Bush , Lifeboat crew. Picture Anne Minihane

The guest list of former diners at this Crookhaven, West Cork home and one-time acclaimed restaurant defines the word ‘eclectic’ – it ranged from former Taoisigh Garret FitzGerald and Charles Haughey, to presidents such as Mary Robinson, ambassadors, and their ilk, and spanned both captains of Atlantic crossing yachts, and captains of Irish and international industry.

Listed for sale in the past week or two in the epicentre of coastal Crookhaven, a few metres away from the pier is Journey’s End. It’s now a private home, and has been for a couple of decades, but was run as a high-end, yet quirky, restaurant by its previous owners, referred to locally still as "Ina and Peter's."

Beauty spot
Beauty spot

Locals and regular ‘Crook’ visitors (the name’s not a judgment, it come from 17th-century landlords the Crooke family) with still functioning memories talk fondly of its heady days, when Ina produced some of West Cork’s best food and seafood specialties from a small galley kitchen, with 30 to 40 diners on busy summer nights, and with sing-songs often lasting into the next day.

Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey made a point of coming to Journey’s End on an anniversary of the time in 1985 when his 42’ yacht Taurima (later called Celtic Mist) fell foul of the Mizen and saw him and his crew saved by alert lighthouse and lifeboat service crews.

Charles J Haughey in Bush's bar, Baltimore folowing his rescue from the 'Taurima' off Mizen Head. Picture:  Anne Minihane
Charles J Haughey in Bush's bar, Baltimore folowing his rescue from the 'Taurima' off Mizen Head. Picture:  Anne Minihane

It was just one of Mr Haughey’s many cat-like escapes from tangles - and allowed him later on to quip that he managed to survive by walking on water!

Today, instead of walking on water, Crookhaven’s visitors water-ski, jet ski, sail, snorkel and spin around Carbery’s Hundred Islands on fast ribs: it’s a paradise for those who love the sea, with Fastnet visible from the headlands and nearby Brow Hill where scenes for Star Wars have been filmed.

A 2016  scene on the cliff edge on Brow Head near Crookhaven, West Cork, where a  Star Wars movie was  shot.
A 2016  scene on the cliff edge on Brow Head near Crookhaven, West Cork, where a  Star Wars movie was  shot.

End of the journey?
End of the journey?

“What an end to any journey! This is on the edge of the water in the most southerly harbour in this fair isle of ours,” note Schull-based selling agents James Lyons O’Keeffe auctioneers in their sales patter for Journey’s End.

They too eulogize times past “when Ina and Peter hosted ‘the talk of the area’ dinner parties out of a very efficiently-run kitchen… that appeared to be a cupboard under the stairs. There was no other space - people were feasting everywhere else, with journeys and nights never-ending.” 

Sun room some room
Sun room some room

It’s since been owned by a number of years by a US/Irish family, the McCarthys with generational roots to Brow Head.

It was home up to 2013 to the late Maureen McCarthy who had moved over from a five-story New York brownstone after the death of her husband, TP McCarthy.

Next stop America
Next stop America

TP was  a prominent New York Republican, at one time tipped as a possible US ambassador to Ireland under President Ronald Reagan, recalls their daughter Lanna who's lived across Crookhaven harbour in a white cottage, also for decades as an early 'teleworker' in the financial world. She quips that her mother Maureen had the unofficial title of 'US ambassador to Crookhaven", leading a notional  St Patrick's Day parade past her front door.

As soon as it came to market in the past week, Journey's End has been getting swift interest, says auctioneer Colm Cleary, with viewings to follow and early bids already in.

Old world interiors
Old world interiors

The c 1,700 sq ft semi-detached house, with bright sunroom off the main dining room, has old-world features, some exposed stone walls, stone flagged floors, patio and paths, and has direct access to the foreshore just on the western side of the generally sheltered Crookhaver pier, slip and thrumming village heart.

Raise the roof, raise the deck
Raise the roof, raise the deck

Some neighbouring properties closer to the mouth of the harbour have managed to get jetties or small pontoons for boat access, and the patio terrace garden has a full panorama of the comings and goings of boats in the bay, with an active seasonal sailing school.

About 85 miles from Cork city and set at the end of a projecting, sheltering strip of land with 360-degree scenic views, Crookhaven’s population swells from a winter low of 60 to as many as 500 once holidaymakers arrive.

The Price Register shows 33 Crookhaven property sales since 2010, with seven of that 33 for over €500,000. The highest price shown is for the most recent sale, registered just last month at €748,000, with the property not named.

VERDICT: A price guide of €850,000 doesn’t seem to be discouraging inquiries, given the current demand for coastal Irish homes, and water-fronting Journey’s End exerts its own aura too.

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