Clonmore, 15A Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Clonmore is a modern six-bedroomed mansion constructed c. 1992 by property developer Paddy Kelly and his wife Maureen in the side garden of Clancool, the original Edwardian mansion they purchased in 1987 from the Estate of Joseph Brennan. The house is named after hometown in County Laois. The couple were faced with selling one of the properties around the time Clonmore was initially constructed due to cash flow problems faced by Kelly’s construction company, however they eventually opted to sell Clancool and to retain Clonmore.

Clonmore is unique in that it is the only newly constructed house on Shrewsbury Road that enjoys a full c. 0.75 acre site (which is the typical size of original houses) and also has c. 135 feet of frontage onto Shrewsbury Road. In this regard, one could assume that the house was built on the grounds of a demolished house, or that it is a heavily-extended original house, however this is not the case and the house is rather recent and designed by now-defunct Horan Cotter Associates in Blackrock. Clancool originally sat on 1.5 acres and this was split in half by the Kellys in order to accommodate Clonmore.

Having resided in the property for 17 years, the Kelly family left in 2010 with the property market collapsing around them and with Paddy owing hundreds of millions of euros to creditors and his liabilities outweighing his assets. Maureen Kelly is, however, still the owner of the property to the best of my knowledge. The property was transferred to her years ago and her assets are presumably not encumbered by her husband’s substantial debts. Prior to leaving the property, it was said to have been marketed quietly for the hefty price of €30 million. Since vacating the property, it has been let to the Chinese Embassy, who own nearby 40 Ailesbury Road and who have since purchased adjoining 38 Ailesbury Road and are merging the two. The Kellys are now living at a renovated Victorian house on Marlborough Road, Donnybrook.

While Clonmore is relatively understated for a modern home on Dublin’s most expensive road, it is of a rather curious design, which combines elements of various architectural periods. Were the site still empty today, it would be undoubtedly filled by either a development of over-densely populated ostentatious homes, or a single mansion well in excess of 10,000sqft, and thus it is probably the lesser of two evils, despite not being particularly meritorious from an architectural perspective.

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