Rossmore an ideal retreat

MICHAEL FLATLEY tried to get planning permission to build a 9,000 sq ft holiday ‘cottage’ here, on 50 acres of Kerry’s sublime Rossmore Island, but was controversially refused by planners given its Special Area of Conservation status and the scale of his plans.

Might he be lured by the more modest Rossmore House? It’s a hassle-free walk-in, or a shoe-in, for the famed and fabulously wealthy dancer – or for anyone else seeking a private, remote coastal retreat.

Built in the 1970s, extended again in 1999 by its UK-based careful owners who spotted the site’s potential when on sailing holidays in the bay, and now with a new replacement 2010 boathouse and launch slip installed, it’s very special hideaway indeed – and it won’t cost millions to buy.

In fact, estate agent Dominic Daly who’s based in Cork city, guides the spotlessly tidy 2,200 five/six split-level bed home at about €700,000.

Discretely tucked into the landscape, and with views from most rooms to the mouth of Kenmare Bay and ocean, it is on a private landscaped and tended acre with garage/store. But, there’s a further two acres right by the waterfront with a new, bone-dry boathouse currently home to two small sailing dinghies.

It all promises great summer and fine days of boating, exploring the Kenmare Bay coastline and its myriad islands, one more beautiful spot after another (like Parknasilla, the hidden guesthouse gem Tahilla Cove has been wooing visitors for 60 years.)

The immediate land is pure, soft Kerry grazing and rocks, with lowing cattle, a gentle stream, holly trees in berry, and utter tranquillity. At one time in the 19th century, say the owners, the island supported 60 fishing families, with two quays for landing catch nearby, then transported by donkey and cart to Kenmare.

Rossmore Island, between Sneem and Kenmare by Long Lake, is reached by a picturesque, small arched stone bridge 500 yards off the main N70 Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh peninsula. With just a handful of land-owners, it has about 365 acres of land – one approximately for ever day of the year, varying in exactitude only by the rise and fall of the tides.

When you live here, you’ll be in touch with those same tides.


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