Senator Eamonn Coghlan isn't sitting around this week as he awaits news of a second-term nomination.
The self-confessed DIY addict has been painting his plinths, touching up his soffits, fixing the waterfall lights on the garden pond and investigating an apparent pump failure at same. The cause of the latter turns out to be a missing circuit breaker that he suspects his electrician brother has "borrowed".
"I'm always at something when I'm at home. Most recently I've been on a painting spree. I've upgraded the lounge by ripping out an old-fashioned bar counter to open up some space. I've built in a new alcove with a much smaller bar in it and I've been up at the beams on the ceiling making them look like new. I'll tackle all but the most intricate electrics jobs."
"I'm happiest when I'm doing something with my hands. I got it from my Dad who was an electrician. Back when myself and my brother were growing up in Drimnagh, we'd be brought out helping him on jobs. We wired the American Embassy back in the day and worked on the lights in Croke Park. But I'm happiest when I'm fixing or installing things at home," says the former world champion.
Coghlan also coaches young athletes and has tabled Senate motions calling for a new approach to physical education in primary schools. "We're not there yet but some of what I proposed has been adopted."
His life-long DIY spree has run into a steely final leg recently in the race to sell his house at 5 Homeleigh before the summer lull. Having attempted to sell the US-style spread at Porterstown last year, Coghlan since withdrew it and has embarked on a feverish upgrade to improve its appeal. Recent additions have included new bathrooms and a new modern kitchen. He's been racing around on his tractor mower getting an acre of grass tidy in the Gerry Daly-designed garden.
So this week, the newly spruced-up seven bedroom house is being launched to market with a price of €1.475m attached.
Four out of the five Coghlan children have flown from the nest (he and son John are the only European father and son to have run a sub-four-minute mile). It means that Eamonn and wife Yvonne are trading down to fund some long planned travelling.
"In many ways, this house tied in with my career. We bought the site when we came home from the Moscow Olympics in 1980. We came back to build the house in 1990 when I retired. The full-sized snooker table in the attic games room was a retirement present to myself. It goes with the house because I had enough trouble getting it up there, so I'm not going to try and get it down again!"
Coghlan's monicker 'Chairman of the Boards' attests to his dominance of the indoor mile. He broke the world record on three occasions and also set records for the 1,500m and 2,000m events. Representing Ireland in three Olympic Games, the pinnacle of his career was his 5,000m gold won at the inaugural World Championships in Helsinki in 1983. But Coghlan wasn't done there. In 1994 at Harvard he became the first man over 40 to run a four-minute mile. His 40-plus record time stood right up until last year when it was finally beaten by Bernard Lagat.
The lounge at Homeleigh has an elaborate period style fireplace and ceiling. There's a wood-floored family room where the track man keeps his trophies and the recently upgraded cream-tiled kitchen and dining room has an island unit. There's a garage and seven bedrooms with three ensuites. Upstairs has the snooker room, and playroom. The house is located near a number of popular golf courses and the private gate leading straight into Porterstown Park represents gold for any aspiring athlete owner in training.
Porterstown, Dublin 15
Asking price: €1.475m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 8201800
They say nature sets the pace in west Cork, which would explain why so many people flee hectic city lives to relocate to this unique corner of Ireland. The owner of this detached four-bed home in Ganniv Mór in Ardfield, left Dublin nearly 20 years ago for Clonakilty and never looked back.