Peek inside millionaire's row home with limitless lake views for €2.2m
Kerry holiday home on millionaire's row is on the market for €2.2m
When an American tourist "landed on Erin's green isle and gazed at Killarney with rapturous smile", he immediately wanted to buy it. So goes the song 'How Can You Buy Killarney?', recorded by Josef Locke in 1949 and later by Bing Crosby.
In the song, the American is politely sent on his way. You can't buy Killarney, is the answer.
But it was not absolutely true. Americans can buy Killarney - or at any rate a decent chunk of it - and have been doing so for decades.
Killarney is, of course, the birthplace of tourism in Ireland, having started to become popular with holidaymakers back in the 18th century. But it got its biggest push after the foundation of the state when Howard Harrington, an Irish-American lawyer, who bought Dunloe Castle in Killarney, became the first president of the newly-formed Irish Tourist Association in 1925.
Harrington didn't stay long - he left the country in 1926 to avoid tax - but he did start a fashion. Americans have been entranced by Killarney ever since. They favour large, expensive properties with views of the lakes and mountains - houses such as those found in the millionaires' row in Ardagh, at Loreto Road on the outskirts of town.
There are only nine one-off houses in Ardagh, and they tend to change hands for big money - big even by American standards. One sold there last December for €1.17m, another for €1.475m in 2012, and another for €1.14m in January 2013. Number 2 Ardagh sold in January last year for €636,000 and it was unfinished.
Now 'Aisling', the very last house in the gated development, is on the market for €2.2m.
By way of comparable completed sales there's only 'Shearwater', a thatched mansion on 6.5 acres overlooking Kenmare Bay, which sold for €2.7m in August 2016.
Agent Donal Culloty of REA Coyne & Culloty is confident that Aisling will reach its asking price, and reports are that there has been quite a lot of interest in it.
Aisling is owned by Americans who have used it as a holiday home - their 'dream' home - and does have arguably the best setting in the whole Ardagh development. It's the last house on the cul-de-sac, so there's seclusion, and it has limitless views to Lough Leane and the McGillycuddy Reeks.
It's on a little over two-and-a-half acres of gardens with a hydrangea-lined driveway, granite patios, flowering shrubs and formal lawns, sheltered by trees.
The house itself is 3,767 sq ft on two storeys, and it's designed to make the most of the views and the light from the western sky. You enter the house from the eastern side, leaving the best of the frontage for the reception rooms on the split-level ground floor.
There are three reception rooms, not counting a large kitchen and breakfast room. This room has a vaulted ceiling and is fitted with cherrywood cabinets and a centre island. The breakfast area is next to an arched window with French doors giving on to the garden. Off the breakfast area, through pocket doors, is a family room with views of the mountains and the lake.
Steps down from the entrance hall lead to the other two reception rooms. First is the dining room, for more formal meals, and this has pocket doors leading into the dual-aspect living room, with French doors to the terrace.
You can enjoy the views in even greater privacy from the upper floor, where the master bedroom has another arched window and French doors giving on to a balcony facing west. Including the master suite there are four bedrooms in all upstairs, and all have ensuites and walk-in wardrobes.
You could walk to Killarney, about three kilometres away, passing the Gleneagle Hotel and the National Event Centre on your way. There's any amount of hiking, pony-trekking and fishing to be enjoyed, and golfers can pick up a game at the nearby nine-hole Ross Golf Club or on one of the championship courses at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.
If you want to 'buy Killarney', selling agents REA Coyne and Culloty in Killarney can be contacted at (064) 663 1274.
Ardagh, Loreto Road, Killarney
Asking price: €2.2m
Agent: REA Coyne and Culloty