Down Yonder, Rosses Point, Co Sligo Asking Price: €2.4m Agent: Savills (01) 6181300 & DNG Flanagan Ford (071) 9159222
HILE This is almost eight times the size of an average family home at 8,114 square feet; Down Yonder, a coastal property at Rosses Point in Company Sligo, is actually made up of three.
That’s because the recycled materials used to build Down Yonder, with its nine en-suite bedrooms, include key components salvaged from three different period homes once located in Tyrone and Fermanagh and all of which have been greatly appreciated. has already been demolished.
Down Yonder owner Evan O’Hara and his family suffered a life-changing blow in 1997 when her husband, Ronnie, suffered a brain injury after a fall.
“At that time Ronnie had a stonework business and I had an IT business in Sligo. Because he was told he would never work again, we decided to look at different businesses and thought about guest accommodation.
After two years of rehabilitation, Ronnie made a full recovery and Ivan decided to sell his business and join him in the stone business. It was around this time that they came upon a site in the townland of Down Yonder at Ross Point and purchased it in 2000.
When it came to designing the house, Evan enlisted the services of his father, John Layden, a technical drawing teacher and renowned local draftsman, who suggested that if his life again took a different turn, he should The building should ‘future proof’.
As part of that process, they added nine en-suite bedrooms with guest accommodation capacity, to give them an additional option of running the business from home going forward.
Evan was looking ahead even before he was allowed to plan at Ross Point.
“My hobby was antiques, buying and selling pieces and pieces of furniture for personal use. “A friend and I were at a furniture auction in this lovely old Georgian home in Omagh and we found it was about to be knocked over for redevelopment.
“It was a big beautiful Georgian country house. And although it was in poor condition, you would never get permission to knock it down today.
“We asked what they were intending to do with the floors and doors and were told, if we were interested, we had three days to come and pick whatever we wanted.”
The couple paid £2,000, and the next day Ronnie and his workers found a flat-bed truck and headed for Omagh. “We basically ransacked the house.
“We pulled down all the floorboards, took out all the doors, architecture, and window shutters that we used as paneling here in the house. The arched interior door, with its glass, was brought in one piece from Omagh. We Took as much as we could.”
The O’Haras weren’t finished yet, “After knocking in the house, we went back and found solid stone windows with beams from the stables, which we used to use at sunrise. We also saved enough bricks from the chimney stacks So that the chimney here can be used.”
A lot of woodwork was required before the new house was included.
“It had about 150 years of paint on it. To bring it back without damaging the grain we were told that we would have to blast it with crushed walnut or hazelnut shells, which we did.
Once it was treated and ready for reuse, a local carpenter put the old wood to new use, giving the place a distinctly old world feel. He put up 11.5 feet of ceiling in the living area and a plaster friend did all the decorative corning and plasterwork.
When it came to finishing the exterior on Down Yonder, O’Hara returned to the north for Fermanagh sandstone salvaged from the demolition of two different period houses.
Thus we can argue that the spirit of three very old and elegant houses now resides in Down Yonder.
It ended in 2003 and, along with their four children, the O’Haras lived here happily until 2012, when the long-term effects of Ronnie’s accident meant he had to close his stone business.
So at that point he decided to follow the advice of Evan’s father and use the home’s excess capacity to open a boutique bed and breakfast in 2013.
“I’m sorry we didn’t do it sooner,” Ivan says. “It worked really well, and really suited Ronnie’s big personality. It also meant we could stay home with the two kids.”
Unfortunately, fate gave him another merciless hand when Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2015 after a short illness, just as the guest house business was reaching new heights.
“We were voted the Best B&B in Ireland in 2015 and number 10 in the world by TripAdvisor. We got a call in January and Ronnie passed away in April.
Evan has since continued the bed and breakfast business and now, as with all the kids in college, he has decided to move on to new things.
“I was happy to be here with the kids and Down Yonder enabled me to run a business while I could be around Ronnie and take care of him at the same time.”
So she’s selling Down Yonder as a family home, saying that, while it’s partly a business, it was assembled and put together as a family home and hopes to make it this way. Will be bought as
‘Down Yonder’ was completely refurbished in 2017 to improve its insulation and now has a B2 energy rating.
The home’s footprint is in a very shallow ‘V’ shape designed to create maximum views of the sea and Ben Bulben which lingers in the distance.
A walled entrance through stone pillars with cast iron gates leads to the front of the dwelling through a tree-lined avenue.
The front door opens to the lobby and an arched door from Omagh with original glass leads to the hallway.
A cloakroom on one side and a guest on the other side of the lobby are accessible from the WC Hall. In large hallways the reworked wood comes into its own in the floors, doors, and architecture.
The wood and decorative plasterwork give the place a real Georgian feel.
One door to the left of the hall leads to the drawing room with a bay window, while another leads to a sitting room with ocean views at Ben Bulben and Ross Point, one of the best beaches in the North West.
Both rooms are connected by a semi-circular sunroom and breakfast room with spectacular views.
The kitchen extends out from the house in an inverted ‘U’ shape with corner windows and French doors that give some of the best views in the house.
A larger size, as you’d expect to find in a guesthouse of note, includes a solid wood island, worktops, and an Aga cooker with hand-painted units.
A corridor running the length of the house to the right of the hallway provides access to the dining room, study and four bedrooms.
The formal dining room features a marble fireplace with a bay window overlooking the front gardens.
All four bedrooms on the ground floor have en suite facilities while the largest has a bay window overlooking the sea. Enclosed is another bedroom with fully wood-paneled wood floors and a free-standing bath.
A staircase at the end of the corridor leads to the basement on the spilled level where spaces include utilities, two storerooms, a workshop and a game room.
The upstairs master bedroom features a spacious en-suite bathroom, a dressing room, and a large dormer window with ocean views. There are four more attached bedrooms on this floor.
The house comes with 19 acres of land and is within walking distance of the beach at Roses Point and 8 km from the vibrant Sligo town with its colorful and trendy shops and pubs.
Down Yonder is now on offer for €2.4m through Seville Country Agency and joint agents DNG Flanagan Ford.