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Thursday 18 October 2018

A Country Girl's abode - former home of Edna O'Brien

The house where writer Edna O'Brien grew up is on the market for €350,000 in Tuamgraney village on the shores of Lough Derg

Historic: Drewsborough House in East Clare is expected to attract considerable local and outside interest when it goes to auction with a guide price of €350,000
Historic: Drewsborough House in East Clare is expected to attract considerable local and outside interest when it goes to auction with a guide price of €350,000
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

There will be much literary and local interest in the sale next week of Drewsborough House on 7ac in the East Clare village of Tuamgraney.

The house is the birthplace of renowned writer, Edna O'Brien and is for sale by the representatives of her late sister-in-law. It comes to auction after being on the private treaty market and has a guide price of €350,000.

The village of Tuamgraney is a lovely picturesque settlement on the shores of Lough Derg, close to Scarriff and about 12km from Killaloe. It is home to what is believed to be the oldest place of continuous worship in Ireland, St Cronan's Church, built in the 10th Century and renowned as a place where the great Brian Boru said his prayers.

Edna O'Brien was born and reared in Tuamgraney and began her working life as a pharmacist in 1950.

Passion

Her passion was for literature and after marrying writer Ernest Gebler in 1954 she moved to London where she immersed herself in books and the literary life.

Edna's work was not well received in Ireland where her early books were banned, but this did not discourage the writer. Over the last five decades – she has produced a powerful body of work including novels, plays and screenplays.

Originally part of the larger Drewsborough Estate owned by the Drew family since the mid 1700s, it was bought by John O'Brien, Edna's father, in 1899.

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The property was inherited by her brother, a doctor who based his practice in the house, and it is now for sale as part of the estate of his deceased wife, Claire O'Brien. The house, a lovely period residence in cut stone, hasn't been lived in for some time and is in need of complete refurbishment.

The accommodation includes five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen/dining area and three reception rooms with fireplaces.

The gardens, which include the remnants of an orchard, are in need of attention.

The 7ac around the house is in grass and dotted with old trees. The residence is accessed through an overgrown avenue that goes through the lands.

Auctioneer Noel Corcoran anticipates much interest in the property and believes its guide price to be very attractive.

"The family was offered €1m for the property in the boom times but was unwilling to sell the home at that time.

"It is now the subject of an executor sale."

Drewborough House will be sold at public auction at the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis at 3pm on Tuesday, July 1.

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