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The Timeless Appeal of Irish Real Estate

Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Irish property expert Michael Grehan explains why overseas buyers are looking to the Emerald Isle

Known for its rich and fascinating history, folklore, culture, and raw natural beauty, Ireland is a very special place to own a home. Some of the Emerald Isle’s highlights include the Wild Atlantic Way, a picturesque road that hugs the rugged western coast, with breathtaking views as standard; a number of world-class golf courses—including Old Head Golf Links in Kinsale, a spectacular setting that tempts players to be distracted by the swooping seabirds and humpback whales splashing nearby. There is also the exceptional beauty of the country’s lakes, rivers, and coastal stretches, where fisheries are well managed and stocked for the angler. Not to mention the country’s quaint towns and villages, and its cosmopolitan capital city, Dublin.

Home offices, the attraction of space over location and the lure of the beautiful Irish countryside and coastline, created a change in buyers’ property purchases”

One of Dublin's main landmarks, the Four Courts, located on Inns Quay on the north bank of the River Liffey, is the seat of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the Dublin Circuit Court.

Additionally, Ireland has favorable stamp-duty rates compared to the UK, as well as lower property taxes; upgraded roads, motorways and rail infrastructure, and ease of access to international airports—Dublin, Cork, and Shannon—from the UK, Europe, and North America; a fantastic education system; and, of course, the famous friendliness of the Irish people.

“Fallout from the pandemic has compelled domestic and overseas buyers to reconsider their property needs and buying criteria,” says Michael Grehan, chairman of Sherry FitzGerald, Ireland’s leading estate agency. “In particular, remote working and the use of existing technology has enabled a break from the traditional home to work routine. Home offices, the attraction of space over location and the lure of the beautiful Irish countryside and coastline, created a change in buyers’ property purchases.

“The awfulness of the pandemic needs to be put beside the realization of health, togetherness, and quality of family life. In the second half of 2020, this created a surge in buyer demand and enquiries from domestic and foreign parts. The attractiveness of Ireland as an Island nation has ensured this renewed demand across the entire country underpins a strong, resilient property market. If anything, Ireland is struggling to meet this new demand in every single county.”

Here are three distinctive estates, two in seaside resort towns on the Irish “Amalfi Coast”, and one on the bucolic and scenic “Ring of Kerry” route.

Mount Alverno in Dalkey, Co. Dublin

One of Ireland’s finest private homes, Mount Alverno is a contemporary coastal retreat with panoramic views across Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains.

The ultimate coastal retreat, Mount Alverno is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent private properties on the Irish market. The understated and unique contemporary home occupies Dalkey’s finest site, offering unrivaled views of Dublin Bay, Howth, Dalkey Island, Killiney Bay, and the Wicklow Mountains. The 7,050-square-foot, two-story residence features several reception areas, five bedroom suites, and an acre of landscaped gardens. Located on Sorrento Road, the property is a short walk to Dalkey village and nine miles from Dublin city center.

Long Lake House in Tahilla, Sneem, Co. Kerry

Ireland’s famous Ring of Kerry is the setting for Long Lake House, an enchanting waterfront estate overlooking Long Lake, Kenmare Bay, and the Beara Peninsula.

Long Lake House lies on 13 scenic acres of the Iveragh Peninsula between Kenmare and Sneem, on the south Ring of Kerry. The gently angled frontage of the fan-shaped, three-story main house faces a freshwater pond with a Lake Geneva-style fountain, with views of Long Lake, the Kenmare Bay and Beara mountains. The house offers vast open-plan living areas, four commodious bedrooms and seven luxurious baths in 9,493 square feet of interior space. The welcoming upper hall has an open fireplace, an extra-high timbered ceiling, and a skylight over the central stairway of teak and brass. Blue Pearl granite enhances the flooring on most of the upper level, including the large games room with its oversized pool table and open fire place with access to a small deck. Also on this level is an office, and a bedroom with built-in closet and shelving. The owner’s suite and sky living room have heart-of-oak timber flooring. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the sky room open onto a wraparound deck. The property includes a separate three-car garage, a cedar cabin, pier, boat ramp and pontoon, and a boathouse.

Galleen in Killiney, Co. Dublin

This charming Victorian house in the heart of the coastal village of Killiney overlooks Killiney Bay and a dramatic stretch of shoreline often referred to as the “Amalfi Coast of Ireland.”

Galleen is an exceptional detached five-bedroom Victorian home in the heart of Killiney, Co. Dublin, at the end of a private tree-lined avenue off Military Road on an elevated site of about 0.4 acres, with a sunny, secluded southerly aspect with views of Killiney Bay. Elegantly proportioned rooms enjoy both garden and sea views. The ground floor offers a spacious entrance hall, sitting room, country style kitchen and breakfast room, bathroom, utility space and a beautiful Hampton conservatory used as the dining room that overlooks the lawns. Upstairs, the second level has a drawing room with spectacular sea views, two double bedrooms (main en suite) and a family bathroom. The third floor comprises a landing, three double bedrooms, a spacious main bedroom with balcony access and sea views, and a shower room.