Gothic-style Foxrock mansion goes up for auction following near €1m price drop

Around the Block: One-time home of well-known publican, the late Noel Cassidy, will require costly renovation or rebuild

A near €1 million price drop in eight months might prove to be enough of a draw for someone to step up and buy a once multi-million euro home in one of Dublin’s most sought-after residential areas today.

Setauket, a sprawling mock-Gothic pile at number 6, The Birches, off Foxrock’s Torquay Road, goes under the digital hammer at 9am through online auction specialist, BidX1, having failed to find a buyer at either its respective initial and reduced asking prices of €1.85 million and €1.5 million. While the invited opening bid of €890,000 is unlikely to secure ownership of the 10-bedroom, eight-bathroom property, it still equates to a sizeable 52 per cent reduction on the figure sought when the house came to the market last February.

The lack of appetite to date could well be explained by the extent of work needed to bring the property back into a habitable condition. Indeed as writer Elizabeth Birdthistle noted in her review for The Irish Times back then, a cursory check on the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland house-rebuild calculator suggested that some €2.5 million would be needed to refurbish or rebuild the property. And that figure didn’t even include the work needed to bring the house’s swimming pool back into use or take into account the replacement of its bespoke Gothic-style windows.

When Setauket was first developed in the 1980s, owners of sites in The Birches, which included the likes of developers Sean Dunne, Johnny Ronan and Paddy McKillen, were required to construct substantial two-storey homes separating neighbours by granite boundary walls.


Setauket, is the former home of the late Noel Cassidy, a well-known publican, and his wife, Ann. The couple, who presented the then US president Bill Clinton with gifts during his visit to Ireland in 1995, received a letter from the Oval Office, stating: “Hillary and I were delighted to spend some time with you during our visit to Dublin.”

Estate agents describe the property as being arranged over a basement with three upper floors beneath a pitched roof.

The basement consists of games and storage rooms, with the ground floor comprising of a porch and large entrance hall, study, livingroom, diningroom, drawingroom, kitchen, conservatory, guest bathroom and two reception rooms. At this level, there is also a pool house with two rooms, with a self-contained kitchen and bathroom.

The first floor has seven bedrooms with three en suites, four bathrooms, a laundry room and a terrace overlooking the pool and gardens. On the second floor, there are three bedrooms, one with a mezzanine, two bathrooms and a large attic space.

The house, which comprises a mix of designs, sits on a 0.75-acre site, which is configured with that all-important south-facing rear garden and ample off-street parking – any developer’s delight.

It’s worth noting that not too far away, in the same enclave, the publicly listed builder Glenveagh Properties had been seeking €4.75 million for a 1.6-acre site in 2021. The site had full planning permission for the construction of 28 apartments, with a later revised development of 24 units (10 houses, seven duplexes and seven apartments) prepared by the well-known architect Dermot Bannon.

Setauket goes up for auction at 9am today, Thursday, on BidX1. Interested parties must provide a €20,000 deposit to take part in the bidding process. The deposit is fully refundable for unsuccessful bidders.