In Pictures: Abington's finest with home gym and six bedrooms for €2.95m
Crown jewel of the exclusive Dublin estate comes to market
When Abington in Malahide was launched in the millennium year, it was part of an emerging surburban concept that hadn't been seen before in Ireland: a very high-end residential estate which would allow millionaires to live together in proximity. This was something which had long proven popular in the UK and USA but had not been tried here in Ireland.
Abington would contain no more than 50 very large detached homes on a 43ac wooded site. Roughly half the homes were built by Parkway Properties, the developers, and the other half would comprise homes commissioned by the owners themselves on individual sites they had purchased.
In the beginning, there was plenty of scepticism amidst emerging controversy over elite gated schemes. Because up until then, top end buyers preferred to acquire a big old period pile, throw a few million quid at it, build up the walls around it and keep the unwashed, and indeed their fellow millionaires, out. Among the elite privacy and not a sense of community, was paramount.
The developed houses at Abington were unusually large and constructed to proportions never before seen in Irish estates - from around 4,200 sq ft to 6,200 sq ft. That's four to six times the size of an average city home. The prices started at €2m. The style was vaguely mock Edwardian in its cut and was courtesy of a firm of British architects, Melville Dunbar, imported to help perfect the concept. They toured Dublin suburbs, taking notes of period architecture, before coming up with their blueprints for Abington homes.
But Abington did find success - particularly among the 'new money' wealthy who favoured a brand new modern city home rather than a fusty old period property. The buyers included Ronan Keating and his then wife Yvonne, Nicky Byrne and wife Georgina Ahern, Marty Whelan, Robbie Keane and his wife Claudine, and controversial former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm.
As the scheme established itself, the sites sold off one at a time. The second last and final homes to be constructed here and, as a result, possibly the two best in the estate, are numbers 49 and 50. Both were built by first round buyers who wanted bigger properties and later traded up within Abington. The owners of No49 completed it in 2007 and, finally, No50 - the very last Abington home was built by Ronan and Yvonne Keating and finished in 2010.
Sadly, the Keatings separated soon afterwards and later sold their house for €2.45m at the end of 2014.
Now No49 has been placed on the market - a property which selling agent David Blanc reckons is not just the best home in Abington, but also one of the best in Malahide.
At 7,700 sq ft over three floors, it comes with a home gym, an entertainment room with a built-in Bang and Olufsen video and audio system, a huge entrance hall floored in Emperador stone, eight bedrooms, six of which come with ensuites and a detached staff quarters. The main reception hall has a hint of 'deep south' about it with the cascading swept staircase which features walnut balustrading.
This property has long been owned by an entrepreneur and his family, and used extensively for entertainment purposes. With six key downstairs reception rooms and a huge entrance hall, all interlinking, it is a very useful property for those who will have a need to entertain at home for business purposes.
The downstairs reception hall even has two bathrooms to ensure guests don't have to wait on each other during functions.
Outside, a detached double garage has a self contained studio apartment overhead which could be used for relations, as a teenager's den or for housing an au pair.
The master bed chamber features an ensuite, dressing room and has access to a balcony overlooking the back garden.
There's a purpose built laundry room on the first floor with four other bedrooms. Upstairs again on the second floor, off one of the bedrooms, is an ensuite which includes a sit-in steam shower. The eighth bedroom has also been used as a home office/study and there is access to attic storage space on this floor. The family gym is also located up here. The back garden comes with a paved courtyard to one side, lawns, a sun house and a special children's play area.
Malahide, Co Dublin
Asking price: €2.95m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Blanc (01) 8454500