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Movie Magic: 'Synge Street' house on sale for €630,000


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Never going for a song: Prices are rising in D8 where No68 is located

Never going for a song: Prices are rising in D8 where No68 is located

Owners Mark and Ana Kane

Owners Mark and Ana Kane

The cast of Sing Street, filmed on Synge Street

The cast of Sing Street, filmed on Synge Street

One of the terraces

One of the terraces

The study

The study

The living room

The living room

Kitchen with Mark in carbonite

Kitchen with Mark in carbonite

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Never going for a song: Prices are rising in D8 where No68 is located

Movies and tango have inspired Dubliner Mark Kane for most of his life, to the degree that he even met his wife Ana through a combination of the two.

"I was going to tango nights in Dublin - I used to go five nights a week - and I'd attend dance events around the country.

"Ana was based in Cork where she was also involved in the tango scene. So I hosted a movie themed party at the house at Synge Street and invited her along. Each guest was allocated a movie character and I gave her the character of Lara Croft. She really went for it, ordered all the kit online. She looked great. I was done up as Bogart from Casablanca with slicked black hair and all the clothes. We had movie themed rooms for that party I remember. There was a Star Wars room for which an artist friend of mine made a version of me frozen in carbonite like Han Solo."

This somewhat startling life sized depiction currently stands in the Kane's kitchen next to the fridge.

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The living room

The living room

"So that's how we got together. Now we're married with two lovely little girls."

Meantime right outside is the street vista where much of the action was filmed for another colourful Irish affair: Sing Street, John Carney's coming of age movie set in 1980s. The 2016 flick tells the story of Conor whose family fall on hard times. This causes him to be moved from a posh fee-paying school to the rough and tumble of the Christian Brothers at Synge Street where he gets bullied.

With a deep interest in music, he falls for a girl who says she's a model. He tells her he's in a band and he wants her to be in a video. She agrees. Now he needs to find his band. Under the guidance of his burned out older brother and inspired by the sounds of the 1980s like the Cure, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, Conor rises to the challenge.

The movie gleaned rave reviews in the UK and USA and was nominated for a golden globe. And for a time during filming, Synge Street was transformed back to the 1980s. "They even had 1980s cars parked up and down every day."

But being a tango man, Mark is more enthusiastic about the other film that shot key scenes on the street. The 2000 John Forte directed Mad About Mambo which combined Latin dancing and football was also filmed at the Olympic Ballroom, now demolished for apartments and offices.

"One of the best things for a tango enthusiast living here a few years back was that you had two excellent dancefloors on your doorstep, at the Olympic and the Garda Club. The former is now demolished and the latter became a FLYEfit."

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Owners Mark and Ana Kane

Owners Mark and Ana Kane

Unusually, Mark bought his house completely unseen. "Myself and my brother were both working abroad. In 2005 he said 'Why don't we buy a house together?' I said 'Fine'. His wife found it and he bought it trusting that I would like it. And of course I did. We rented for a few years and then eventually I bought him out when he moved to Sandycove."

"The area is just fantastic for a single guy to live in. You're at the centre of everything and you can live car free because you can walk everywhere. You can also split it for rental. For a time I lived upstairs and rented out the downstairs."

Now Mark and Ana have a two-year-old daughter and a four-month-old and it's time to up sticks in search of more space. So they've placed the property for sale.

Constructed as part of a terrace of five homes in the middle 1990s to visually echo the area's Victorian villas, the three- bedroom corner house has 1,000 sq ft. Like the villa homes of old the entrance is at the middle floor with stairs leading both up and down the other levels.

Given its relative youth, it is unlikely to have the same sort of age problems associated with the original Victorian villas which are now heading for 170 years old.

While values in many high-priced parts of Dublin have fallen in the last year, Dublin 8 has defied the trend. It remains popular with professional couples in particular who want to be city centric.

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Kitchen with Mark in carbonite

Kitchen with Mark in carbonite

Prices here are actually up by 4pc as shown in the Irish Independent's recent How Much Is Your House Worth? 2020 published last weekend. Nearby Portobello is proving to be one of Dublin's most competitive markets.

Accommodation at No. 68 includes an entrance lobby with polished timber floor boards which leads into a triple aspect living room.

This also has timber boards, a fireplace with a gas fire installed and pine mantle. There's a coving and a stairs leads to both the garden level and the upper floor.

Downstairs there's an open plan kitchen and breakfast room with oak wall and floor units, a tiled floor as well as a Neff 5-ring gas hob, Neff oven, plumbed for dishwasher and washing machine. A door leads out to the rear courtyard.

Steps go down again to the lower garden level where two of the bedrooms are located. There's also an under stairs storage area. One of these is a large double room with stained timber boards and there's a single bedroom with stained fitted wardrobes. There's a contemporary bathroom suite with floor to ceiling tiles and this benefits from underfloor heating.

Off the hall return is a small and cosy study and home office which has coving and a French door leading out to the second outdoor terrace. This is enclosed and secure and ideal for outdoor dining in the summer months. On the first floor is the master bedroom, a double room with a picture window and Velux overhead. It has wall to wall built-in wardrobes, a shelved hot press and there's access to the attic.

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The cast of Sing Street, filmed on Synge Street

The cast of Sing Street, filmed on Synge Street

This has its own shower room ensuite with corner shower cubicle with shower attachment and drophead shower.

The house has an E2 BER which could be improved on with the addition of decent insulation.

Dublin 8 has been a key target of hipster professionals for many years, thanks to being on the doorstep of the fashionable Camden Quarter, Portobello, Rathmines and the city centre.

On the doorstep is CBS Synge Street, today an award-winning school with a progressive outlook. Nearby is the Grand Canal walk, the Iveagh Gardens and the National Concert Hall. Eateries include Sprezzatura, Alma, Brother Hubbard South, Meet Me in the Morning and The Bretzel Bakery. For restaurants try Pickle, Delahunt and Locks. Among the famous bars in reach are Hogans, The Long Hall, Anseo, Blackbird, Fallons, Ryans and the Bleeding Horse.

No68 costs €630k, which doesn't include life-size Mark Solo in silver carbonite (he's travelling with the Kanes to their next domestic production).

68 Synge Street Dublin 8

Asking price: €630,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 496 6066


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