Tuesday 20 August 2019

Former home of Irish sausage maker on the market for €1.15m

Bluegrass Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath €1.15m

Bluegrass, Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath
Bluegrass, Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath
Bluegrass, Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath
Bluegrass, Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath
Bluegrass, Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

John Kearns first made Kearns's sausages in Parnell Street in 1905, just over a decade before his son, Patrick Kearns, was born in Bonnybrook House in Coolock in 1916. Patrick went on to take over the business and ran it until it was bought by Olhausen, who continue to make the famous sausages - the favourite of many Dubliners - to this day. The Kearns family no longer has any involvement in the business.

The sausage business was clearly a good one, because in the early 1960s, Patrick and his wife Maureen (nee Culhane) bought 100 acres of land in Co Meath and decamped from Rathgar to the countryside.

"My father was a Dublin man," remembers his daughter, Paula, "but he loved hunting with the Ward Unions. It was his big passion. He always had a few horses dotted around the place in different stables, but he wanted to buy land so that he could keep the horses where he lived."

Back then, remembers his daughter, Piercetown was deep in the countryside and quite remote.

"I honestly don't think that he would recognise it if he were to see it now," she says of her father, who died in 1981. "There was just a very narrow road that ran all the way out from Dublin."

Some of the land that the Kearns owned has been sold in the intervening years and is now occupied by the pharmaceutical company Shire and Piercetown House, home to the late carpet tycoon, Des Kelly.

Bluegrass, the house that Patrick and Maureen built in 1965, now stands on 12 acres of land and comes to the market after Maureen's death last year, having remained in the ownership of the Kearns family until now.

"My father came up with the name after visiting Texas," says his daughter. "It was about horses rather than music."

Paula and her siblings all went away to boarding school, but she remembers the summers at Bluegrass as magical.

"My father used to go down to Ashtown Stables by the Phoenix Park and rent ponies for us for the summer - he didn't trust us to look after them properly all year round - and we had enormous fun charging around the fields and going for picnics on horseback."

The house, itself, is a simple rectangle with well-proportioned rooms, several of which are double aspect, and a sense of space about it.

There are three reception rooms, a kitchen, pantry, utility room and guest loo on the ground floor, with five bedrooms and the family bathroom upstairs. From the main bedroom there are views across to Woodpark stud, associated with the Maktoum family.

"Bluegrass was always very welcoming from the minute you walked in the front door," says Paula. "My father was a sociable man and there were often bridge parties in the drawing room and dinners for 12 in the dining room. My mother had plenty of help in the house and there was plenty of space for us all."

Outside, the gardens and grounds have been well managed and there is good access to the yard to the rear of the house, where there is a self-contained one-bedroom apartment. The yard itself has nine loose boxes and a tack room, and would be suitable for anyone wanting to run a small stud farm.

"My father may have been into horses, but my mother loved all animals," says Paula. "She grew up in Castletroy where her family were involved with pedigree cattle - the land where she grew up is now the location of the University of Limerick. I remember her bringing her Charolais cattle to the Spring Show at the RDS and competing with Lord Iveagh. She also had green fingers, so the gardens are all down to her."

Era: 1960s

Size: 278 sqm

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6300

Viewing: By appointment

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