At €9.75 million, it’s not the most expensive home on the market in Ireland right now: it sits in third position, behind the €12.5 million now being sought for Censure House in Howth, Co Dublin, and the €9.85 million guide attached to the singer Chris de Burgh’s mansion, Bushey Park in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.
But Dunmore Bay & Horse Island, as it is known, is one of the more extraordinary residential properties to have been offered for sale in the Irish market in this or any other year. Prominently positioned on a 24-hectare (60-acre) clifftop site at Kilrush, in Co Clare with panoramic views of Loop Head Lighthouse, Kerry Head and the Slieve Mish Mountains, the 1,160sq m (12,500sq ft) mansion, which takes its name from the bay where it sits and the adjacent private island that comes included in its sale, is understood to have been completed just two years ago to the exacting requirements of its owner, a wealthy American businessman who, it is understood, is based primarily in Switzerland.
Developed on the site of a former cottage, the newly built property consists of a substantial contemporary residence with a striking interior that The Irish Times understands was created by an array of professionals and skilled craftsmen sourced both locally and from overseas.
While the resulting residence may not have universal appeal, its bold fusion of modern design and classical architectural influence inside certainly commands one’s attention. The main reception room is designed in the Great Room tradition, incorporating the living, dining and kitchen area under an ornate and gilded vaulted ceiling.
Other flourishes include a cantilever stone staircase with brass-coated balustrades, and original and exquisite Bossi chimneypieces. The fusion of contemporary and classical in this west of Ireland setting is described as intoxicating by the joint selling agents, David Ashmore of Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty and Cormac O’Sullivan of Ennis-based DNG O’Sullivan Hurley.
The house has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three reception rooms, complemented by a walk-in wardrobe and dressingroom adjoining the main bedroom, a wine cellar, a glass elevator, and an indoor swimming pool that opens out to a large patio terrace and “champagne room” and changing rooms.
The property is surrounded by a large enclosed courtyard with its own private guest bedroom suite. The estate, which sits at the end of a long driveway behind electric security gates, also has a helicopter pad that makes it accessible by air.