Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Tara treasure with equestrian facilities and an outdoor heated swimming pool

The unassuming exterior of this property in Co Meath is most deceptive

Tara Beg was built in the 1960s by the daughter of Lord Powerscourt and it was designed with high ceilings to house the Powerscourt’s art collection.
Tara Beg was built in the 1960s by the daughter of Lord Powerscourt and it was designed with high ceilings to house the Powerscourt’s art collection.
The outdoor heated swimming pool at Tara Beg
Dr Austin Darragh who acquired the house in 1982.
Library at Tara Beg
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Tara Beg in Co Meath is a beautiful rural property on 12.5ac and the package includes a lovely house, fine equestrian facilities and an outdoor heated swimming pool. It is for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €975,000.

Located in elevated countryside between the Hill of Skryne and the Hill of Tara, the property is 4km from Kilmessan, 11km from Navan and 40km from Dublin.

Auctioneer Thomas Potterton and the owner, Anna Darragh, were waiting for me when I viewed Tara Beg last week and I was treated to coffee at the kitchen table as Anna told me the story of how she came to live there.

The house was built in the 1960s by the daughter of Lord Powerscourt when the family sold Powerscourt House in Co Wicklow. Tara Beg was a single storey residence designed with high ceilings to accommodate the artwork and family portraits of the Powerscourts. It was subsequently owned by Lord Holmpatrick who wrote for the Shooting Times.

In 1982 the place was bought by Anna's late husband, the renowned Dr Austin Darragh, medic and businessman. Following the death of his first wife Terry, he remarried and moved to live permanently in Tara Beg with Anna in 1992.

The dwelling is a modest but beautifully proportioned building with a series of elegant and intimate rooms. The accommodation includes an entrance hall with a fanlight doorway built in the Georgian style. A cloakroom and a guest cloakroom are located to one side while a study with an open fireplace overlooking the lawn is located at the other.

It is hard to know where to start describing the various rooms as one is more impressive than the next. The dining room is spacious and elegant, centred around a mahogany table with space for a party of 14.

Party space

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The drawing room is the ultimate party space with a baby grand piano, an open fireplace and full-length windows. By all accounts many great parties were held in this room where the great and the good of the country savoured the hospitality of the Darragh household. There is also a smaller more intimate family room.

For me the pièce de résistance is the library; it has everything a book lover would want - floor-to-ceiling shelving, a desk facing a full-length window, a marble fireplace and lovely spaces to sit and read.

There are four spacious bedrooms three of which have ensuite facilities and one with a spacious dressing room. The kitchen is fitted with 'limed oak' units and an oil fired AGA.

Across the yard from the kitchen is the outdoor swimming pool camouflaged under its winter cover. Measuring 10m by 6m it is surrounded by a nice patio area and screened by mature hedging. Beside the pool is the 'pool house' with a kitchenette, a living room and a shower room with WC.

The spacious garage has accommodation for three cars and upstairs is an office space with desks, PCs and internet services. The garage area also incorporates a laundry room, a boiler house, a staff toilet and a workshop.

The stable yard has a comprehensive range of equestrian facilities including eight loose boxes, a wash bay, tack room, a feed house, a six-unit horse walker, a lorry bay and an all weather sand arena. Also included are groom's quarters that have a sink unit with cupboards and a toilet.

The land is laid out in two post and rail paddocks and a foaling paddock. Auctioneer Thomas Potterton, who is joint agent with Ganly Walters, says a further 14.5ac with stabling across the road could be acquired by separate negotiation.

Indo Farming