Farrier's €495,000 Fermoy home is a shoe-in for a quick sale

Sunroom, stables, koi fish pond and lots of left over horse shoes for good luck, are all to be found at three-bed Sheepwalk  
Farrier's €495,000 Fermoy home is a shoe-in for a quick sale

Sheepwalk East, Fermoy, CO. Cork, P61 N229. Brian Gleeson Property. Photo: Karen Dempsey Photography

Fermoy, Cork 

€495,000

Size

196 sq m (2,095 sq ft)

Bedrooms

3

Bathrooms

3

BER

D1

THE very least interesting thing about this home is the fact it has over 2,000 sq ft of comfortable house – every other foot-related thing about it is a quirk.

Located at Sheepwalk, near Cork’s Fermoy, this livestock and family-friendly home on four acres was built by a master farrier, Stephen McDonagh, when he was at the red-hot height of his powers and prowess in his self-built forge.

Stephen McDonagh, farrier, Sheepwalk, Fermoy, representing Ireland in the 1996 world championship in Stoneleigh, UK. He came 6th in the world in Open Shoeing.
Stephen McDonagh, farrier, Sheepwalk, Fermoy, representing Ireland in the 1996 world championship in Stoneleigh, UK. He came 6th in the world in Open Shoeing.

The Co Mayo born man who had a love of horses represented Ireland in international farrier competitions, coming 6th in the world in 1996, while on a more day-to-day routine he was to be found shoeing horses in places as diverse as West Cork farmyards, or in Grange/Castlehyde stud nearer Fermoy, for the Magnier family.

Representing a long, long tradition, Mr McDonagh qualified as a Master Farrier with Bord na gCapall in 1976, getting the Best Apprentice medal, a medal that his grandfather had also won decades before and who worked in Co Dublin.

He had a 45-year career, garlanded with awards, and wins, representing Ireland in hard-wrought competitions over a ten-year span.

He moved to Cork with his wife Gretta, building a house first in Carrignavar, and then here at Sheepwalk, Fermoy on a larger four-acre plot of ground with space for ponies for the couple’s two daughters, Christina and Marilyn, and built a very substantial workshop for his profession too.

Part of the acreage at Sheepwalk 
Part of the acreage at Sheepwalk 

He died two years ago of a heart attack having shod a horse earlier the same day, recalls his daughter Marilyn as she and her sister make the difficult decision to sell the place they recall with the happiest of childhood memories.

“We used to sit up in the bales of hay in the barn next to the forge, with the chickens, listening to him banging away,” says Marilyn, adding they had ponies here, goats, sheep, and hens. “If we could only pick up the house and move it with us, we would,” she admits, though the menagerie might be hard to accommodate in their now-adult lives.

Her sister Christina now lives in Chicago,  and she and her partner are moving less far to the west, near Sixmilebridge as she’s now a podiatrist, based in University Hospital Limerick.

Ah now, stop, this story could run away with itself?

A second-generation farrier’s daughter - raised in a place called Sheepwalk, let it be recalled - becoming a podiatrist?

“He always joked that I was taking the profession to a higher level alright," laughs Marilyn, able to walk the McDonagh walk and talk the talk.

Outdoor patio for al fresco dining
Outdoor patio for al fresco dining

Sunroom
Sunroom

Doing the sales talk for the family home is estate agent Brian Gleeson, based down the Blackwater way at Ardmore and Dungarvan, and while he’s an expert on horses himself as a race commentator on RTÉ, BBC and TV3, he’s more accustomed to watching horses’ noses at race finishing posts than their hooves, no matter how clean a pair of heels they show on the day.

He guides the McDonagh’s much-loved homestead at €495,000, noting there’s an excellent quality three-bed home, cleverly designed to catch lots of sun, with study and conservatory too, and has four acres with ranch-rail paddocks, covered stables, barn with forge/workshop, manicured gardens with koi fish pond, fruit trees, vegetable garden, polytunnel, and rose beds which, presumably, were never starved of horse manure.

Koi fish pond
Koi fish pond

Sitting room
Sitting room

Outdoor storage options
Outdoor storage options

VERDICT: a shoe-in for sure for a family looking for a timeless country lifestyle, near Fermoy and the M8.

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