Sunday 17 December 2017

Stunning Skerries home offers dual views of the sea for €1.2m

A double-fronted Victorian home that comes with dual views of the sea

Harbour House enjoys sea views to the front and rear
Harbour House enjoys sea views to the front and rear
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

It's difficult enough to find a home in Dublin which runs down to a beach never mind one which has easy access to two sandy strands - both front and rear.

Harbour House at 9 Harbour Road in Skerries faces on to the north beach but also backs on to the south beach and Skerries Harbour - colourful and busy always, with the membership of the local sailing club cruising in and out.

Skerries beach
Skerries beach

In fact, only twelve houses in total achieve this in the popular and scenic seaside town which has become well-known in latter years.

Long-time League of Ireland player Con Martin (Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers and Shebourne) and his wife Patricia have lived here for more than 30 years, with sea views to the fore and aft. Now with their family grown up they're moving on to a more manageable property. "It's a little piece of heaven but now it's time for a new young family to grow up here," says Con, whose family is steeped in Irish footballing tradition.

Skerries harbour at sunset
Skerries harbour at sunset

His dad was the legendary Con Martin Sr who famously played Gaelic Football for Dublin before turning down an offer to become goalkeeper at Manchester United, and later played outfield for Leeds and Aston Villa, serving as both goalie and centre-half for the latter. In 1949, he scored one of Ireland's two goals to make this the first international team to beat England at home. Con's brother Mick Martin played for both the Republic of Ireland and for Manchester United until the 1970s.

This house has had a motley crew of celebrities crashing on its sofas over the years. These included George Best, who came to stay for a weekend in 1986 with fellow Manchester United veteran Shay Brennan, and ended up crashing there for ten days.

The front of the property
The front of the property

"It was a hectic ten days all right. George was over for Shay Brennan's testimonial. Paddy Crerand was staying as well (also Manchester United). George played Thin Lizzy every single night and the lads were up night after night drinking champagne. They were supposed to stay the weekend and ended up with us for ten days. "One morning myself, Shay and Paddy got up and we were wrecked after the drinking. We were out the back with a golf chipper trying to chip balls into a bucket. We were getting close but no success. George came out, also the worse for wear, took it with his left hand and put the ball in the bucket first time," Con recalls.

Other house guests have included John Giles, Eamon Coughlan (married to Patricia's sister), Joe Dolan and Paddy Cole, who played at the house-warming all those years ago.

The hallway and front door, opening on to views of the water beyond
The hallway and front door, opening on to views of the water beyond

Harbour House was originally built in the late Victorian era and it comes with a double frontage with a full-height bay window column on one side.

While in need of some minor updating (the kitchen) the house is bright and extends to more than 2,000 sq ft - almost twice the size of an average family semi.

Harbour House kitchen with raised brick and gas fireplace
Harbour House kitchen with raised brick and gas fireplace

There's a good-sized entrance hall with period arched front entrance with a fanlight and some elegant stained glass panels facing. The floor is parquet and there's a ceiling rose and a dado rail.

The hall leads into the sitting room with a cast iron fireplace, cornices and views into the harbour from the bay window. The formal dining room also has a decorative cast iron fireplace and harbour views. Both rooms are carpeted and feature high ceilings.

The kitchen also comes with a parquet floor, a raised brick gas fireplace and a larder accessed to the side. A door leads through to the sun room at the back of the house which looks south and also has a durable parquet floor.

For those with gregarious teenagers, there's a TV room. Also on this floor is a guest WC and a utility room.

On the way upstairs, on the return, is the family bathroom with a corner bath installed. There are five bedrooms, all of which have great views of the water. Three look towards the sea and harbour, and the other two look out across the South Strand and Shenick Island.

There's a 50-foot long back garden and behind that is a lane for deliveries. From that, you are onto the South Beach directly.

Zoned TC (Town & District Centre), many commercial uses are also 'permitted in principle' for this dwelling subject to the necessary planning permission.

Skerries has been fast coming up in the world. The only East Coast harbour to face west, it has seen its waterfront buildings painted in bright colours through the last decade.

The name comes from the Norse word Skere, meaning "rock". Last year, it took a Tidy Towns award.

There's plenty to look at in terms of the sea views from land here, including five islands: Shenick Island with its Napoleonic Martello Tower and which is overlooked from Harbour House. There's St Patrick's, Colt and Rockabill which features two islands, The Cow and The Calf. Rockabill also has the famous lighthouse. St Patrick was reputed to have first alighted in Ireland at the isle named after him. Just over 200 British soldiers landed here to help suppress the Rising in 1916 while Harry Boland, Michael Collins' one time comrade in arms, was shot and wounded mortally at the Grand Hotel during the Civil War.

Skerries is also known for its two landmark windmills, both of which were recently restored by Fingal County Council. This is a popular coastal town with a host of amenities including schools, cafes, restaurants, bars and leisure facilities, and clubs including golf, sailing, rugby, football, GAA, tennis, soccer, beaches and coastal walks.

For foodies, there's plenty of choice including the well-known Brick House tapas restaurant at the Harbour, the Salty Dog Gastropub which is known for its steaks, the Windmill and the Fifty4, the Rockabill (famous for its poached eggs) and the Bombay House Indian restaurant. Alternatively, you can enjoy the sunset views at night from the popular Blue Bar on the Harbour.

Tourist attractions include nearby Ardgillan Castle and its estate . The 18th Century country house is open to the public every weekend. Also within easy reach is Newbridge with its big house estate and city farm, a favourite with children. Skerries is well served by rail and bus services (Irish Rail & Dublin Bus) and is a short drive from Dublin Airport, the M1 and M50 Motorways, and Dublin City.

Harbour House is being offered for sale through O'Connor Properties and according to sales agent Mary Halligan there has been international interest in this rather uniquely sited property with a beach on both sides.

Harbour House

9 Harbour Road,

Skerries, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.2m

Agent: O'Connor Property, (01) 849 1660

Indo Property

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