The balcony off this master bedroom is a viewing spot for one of Ireland's great golf courses
Number 49 is the former showhouse and has many expensive features, writes Eithne Tynan
Until very recently, the otherwise unremarkable village of Killenard in Co Laois had the distinction of being the home of the honorary Colombian consulate in Ireland.
The honorary consul, Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, had his residence at 48 Carriglea - an upmarket development of large detached houses near the Heritage Hotel and Golf Resort - and appeared annually on the Department of Foreign Affairs' Diplomatic List.
There is no Colombian embassy in Ireland and what diplomatic duties there are, are fulfilled by that nation's embassy in London. Señor Gutiérrez was all we had by way of a consular mission on these shores for all things Columbian.
However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that this situation no longer obtains. At present there is no honorary consul of Colombia in Ireland.
This may be regrettable news for the new owners of 49 Carriglea, the house next door to the former consul's residence, which is identical to it and which is now on the market. What hope now of passing towering trays of Ferrero Rocher back and forth over the garden fence? What hope of being invited to cosmopolitan parties and going as Miss Moneypenny?
On the plus side, perhaps at least now you can relax a little as to appearances. Your evergreens might get a little overgrown without precipitating a diplomatic incident.
Not that there's much fear of that at the moment. The gardens of Number 49 are carefully landscaped and in perfect order. As well as the evergreens - which are shipshape - there are lawns, flowerbeds and a patio, the whole thing tidy enough to entertain a superfluity of diplomats. There's also some burgeoning hedging along the boundaries of the site, allowing for privacy and discretion as the need arises.
Number 49 is the former showhouse in the development and has expensive features inside such as marble fireplaces, a high-end kitchen, a mahogany open-string staircase and a CCTV security system. There's also a water softener and a central vacuum system, and you'll be glad of those because there's 3,000 sq ft worth of floors to hoover and it'll be thirsty work.
Behind these houses is a portion of the 18-hole Heritage golf course, part of a five-star hotel complex which was built at the height of the Celtic Tiger era for a reputed €100m and then bought out of receivership in 2014.
The master bedroom on the first floor of Number 49 gives onto a rear balcony, 13ft by 7ft, from which you can survey the activities on Ireland's only Seve Ballesteros-designed course.
The master bedroom also has an en-suite shower and a walk-in wardrobe, within which you'll also find the feed from the CCTV cameras that help secure the property.
There are four other bedrooms on the first floor as well, all with fitted wardrobes and two with en-suite showers. The family bathroom is also on this level and has a Jacuzzi bath and separate shower. The landing is lit by four motorised skylights, so it's unusually bright.
The ground floor reception rooms are arranged either side of a grand, embassy-worthy porch and entrance hall with a tiled floor and corniced ceiling inside a fanlit front door.
The first reception room measures roughly 32ft by 14ft and is triple-aspect, running the length of the house, with two windows at the front and French doors. It has a corniced ceiling and a marble fireplace, and double doors lead from there into a sunroom with underfloor heating and French doors to the back garden. The second reception room, also with a marble fireplace and corniced ceiling, is smaller at roughly 14ft square.
The open-plan kitchen and dining room is at the back and measures 22ft6 by 24ft3. The kitchen has marble countertops and a centre island with a breakfast bar, and there's a built-in oven, microwave and hob. There's also an American-style fridge-freezer with built-in wine cooler, so you can always have something chilled on hand for VIP guests. The dining area has French doors leading out to the back patio.
At the end of the garden is a little log cabin that's been kitted out with plumbing and electrics, so it would make a good spot for a studio or home office, or a secret man shed in which to construct some sort of Enigma machine.
The Heritage hotel is about 10 minutes' walk from the house. There's an award-winning spa there as well as a restaurant and bar. Meanwhile, membership at the Heritage golf resort costs €975 for men and €750 for women.
It's five kilometres from here to the railway station at Portarlington, where there are dozens of Dublin-bound trains every weekday. Alternatively you can drive to the capital via the M7 motorway, reaching the Red Cow junction of the M50 in about three-quarters of an hour.
Asking price: €595,000
Agent: Kate O'Shea, (086) 798 1888