Friday 17 January 2020

Shedload of possibilities at site of the Civil War battle

This home comes with a large site and tale to tell

At present the house has two reception rooms and three bedrooms, but new owners may seek planning permission to extend it up and out.
At present the house has two reception rooms and three bedrooms, but new owners may seek planning permission to extend it up and out.
The entrance hall.
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

Sisters Ann, Yvonne and Roisín MacMullan grew up in 65 Lower Albert Road, a double-fronted period villa on the left-hand side of the road as you come up from Glasthule village. As far as they are concerned, their home was always in Sandycove. Eircode, however, has other ideas, and they find themselves now officially in Glenageary.

No matter, the house is as close to the sea as it ever was, and all three remember playing on the little beach at Sandycove on sunny summer afternoons, harvesting periwinkles. Yvonne even made it into the paper protesting the 'gentlemen-only' swimming policy at the Forty Foot before that was turned on its head in the 1970s.

Many years before the MacMullans came to live at No 65, a bloody battle, resulting in the deaths of two men, took place just a few doors away, in March of 1923.

According to a newspaper report from the time, "a cycle patrol detached from the 13th Infantry Battalion, under the command of Captain Micheal Kelly, left Loughlinstown Workhouse yesterday morning, and cycled through a wide area of Dalkey and Killiney. En route the party arrested a young man named Terence O'Brien. They then came on Glenageary, and at 68 Albert Road halted in the intention of making inquires. Captain Kelly, inspecting the locality, placed men around the house No 68 and took steps to prevent any person from leaving it."

One of the bedrooms.
One of the bedrooms.

The newspaper report said that once the occupants of the house - dubbed 'irregulars' in the parlance of the time - became aware of the presence of the soldiers, they opened fire on them.

"The soldiers replied," continues the newspaper report, "and during the fusillade a man named William Meighan was seen trying to escape from one of the windows.

"In the first attack Corporal Baker was mortally wounded, and in the subsequent fighting two of the attackers - Micheal Neary and Patrick Thomas - were seriously wounded.

"The troops rushed the house and captured four prisoners - the two wounded men already mentioned, a man named Taylor and William Meighan, a native of Dalkey, who is regarded as a local leader. They also found in the house, and arrested, a girl named Lily O'Brien. The wounded were taken to St. Micheal's Hospital, Kingstown."

The sitting room with a timber floor and tiled fireplace.
The sitting room with a timber floor and tiled fireplace.

The troops were reported as having captured arms including three rifles, three revolvers, several hundred rounds of ammunition, a quantity of bombs "and other equipment" from the house. Neither Corporal Baker nor Michael Neary survived.

The MacMullan sisters remember the extended O'Brien family as their neighbours when they were children, and Lily O'Brien's chickens roaming the lanes.

These days it's hard to imagine anything dramatic happening on genteel Albert Road.

No 65 comes to the market in a probate sale, and will be of interest, reckons agent Janet Carroll, to several different cohorts of potential purchasers.

The 150ft back garden.
The 150ft back garden.

Well-heeled downsizers, trading down from a larger home in the area, will like the proportions of the rooms and the ability to have both bedroom and living accommodation on one level.

Young professional families looking for a period home with room to extend, along with a large 150ft garden, will be attracted by the selection of good schools in the area, and the convenience of the Dart - Glenageary station is a five-minute walk away.

And developers will be interested in exploring the possibilities of what can be achieved with the large infill site to the back, which has independent rear vehicle and pedestrian access, and could - subject to planning permission - accommodate a substantial detached house, or a pair of smaller semi-detached houses, or even a trio of bijou townhouses.

The MacMullan sisters remember their father having a workshop, keeping his boats and growing vegetables on this site when they were children, and Ann says that she used to climb to the very top of the tallest trees "for a bit of peace. You could see the whole of Dun Laoghaire from up there."

Roisín recalls standing on a barrel to climb the wall to try and nab apples from the neighbour's orchard, but that "their goat would come after you, so you had to be quick".

The house itself has two reception rooms, three bedrooms, a lean-to used as a utility room, a downstairs lavatory and an upstairs bathroom, but new owners are likely to undertake a top-to-toe renovation, and may seek planning permission to extend the house up and out, for which there are precedents along the road.

There are a number of concrete sheds outside and the house is not a protected structure.

The village of Glasthule is one of the most vibrant in south county Dublin, with a host of smart shops, cafes and restaurants to ensure that the locals are well-dressed and well-fed. Rasam, The Cookbook Café, Carluccio's and Caviston's are just a few of the establishments kept busy by a constant flow of hungry customers, while 64 Wine ensures that no one goes thirsty, particularly on Friday evenings.

65 Lower Albert Rd

Glenageary, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.075m

Agent: Janet Carroll (01) 2882020

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