Derrymore, 6 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Derrymore (formerly Rossbegh) is a fine semi-detached house, neighbouring No. 8 Shrewsbury Road. The house’s is most well known as the family home of financier Derek Quinlan, who was responsible for the extension and thorough upgrading of the home in recent years.
It is likely that the first residents of the the house were the Doyne family – who resided here from 1908 at the latest, only a few years after the home was built. In 1927, the furniture of Rossbegh was auctioned off – suggesting that the house had changed hands and that the previous owner had passed away – and the buyer was most likely a Mr William Hurley. His wife, Emilie Albertha Hurley died at the home in 1945, leaving an estate of £25,990. Following her death, the home came up for auction and was subsequently bought by, I believe, a Mr. Mathew J. McCabe who died at the home ten years later, in 1955.
The following owner, Mrs Catherine O’Malley, lived in the home for only around 5 years before her death in 1960. Her obituary only mentions nephews and nieces, so I assume that she had no children or husband. In 1966, the house changed hands ones again. The first time that I have a price for the property was in 1979, when the house was guiding £102,500 at auction but was under negotiation having been withdrawn.
This leads us to 1996, when Derek Quinlan and his second wife, Siobhan Downey, purchased the semi privately for £800,000, with his estate agent, Sean Davin, buying it in trust for him. He used the same agent to buy nearby ‘Nutley Lodge’ in trust for him for £430,000 a few months before the purchase of Rossbegh. The house was purchased from the retired Donnybrook butcher, Henry Shiels, in a private sale brokered by Lisney. Quinlan’s new name for the property, Derrymore, is most probably inspired by his own first name. Planning was submitted by the Quinlans in 1997 for the outdoor swimming pool and the single story extension, bringing the house to a total living area of approx. 5,005 sq.ft.
In 2006, the Quinlan family applied to more than double the size of their home, hoping to add approx 7,500 sq.ft to the already large family home, in order to make it a 12,500sq.ft+ home. This extension also included the construction of a very sizable basement. The construction was opposed by neighbour Dermot Gleeson of 8 Shrewsbury Road, for obvious reasons as the home is attached to his. The owner of ‘Balholm’, the other neighbour of Derrymore, Mr Paul Coulson, confirmed that he and his wife had no objections to the proposed extensions. Quinlan eventually withdrew the planning application, probably due to the fact that he purchased No. 1 & 3 Shrewsbury Road, two modern homes across the road, in the same year that he had applied for planning. He sought to build a 20,000 sq.ft mansion on the amalgamated plot of 1 & 3, which was later reduced to around 13,000 sq.ft in order to find a plan that would pass the planning process and respect Shrewsbury Road’s unique character. These homes have since been sold, renovated, and rented out for about €15,000 each – as opposed to totally demolishing them as Quinlan had planned.
Quinlan sold Derrymore in 2011 for €7 million, which, despite the highly turbulent times it was sold in, is not totally surprising given the good-sized westerly site and the house’s large proportions and very high quality finish. The swimming pool obviously doesn’t hurt either! One year later, in 2012, neighbour Dermot Gleeson sold neighbouring and once-identical 8 Shrewsbury Road for €5 million, a price substantially less than Quinlan achieved for Derrymore, though this was due to the further decline in house prices, its smaller size and lower level of finish.
Derrymore can only be described as absolutely stunning. Everything from the home’s magnificent Edwardian design, to the perfectly manicured lawns, lush planting and the two towering trees in the front garden makes this house so superb. I have little doubt that the new owner, Garry Burke of Pembroke Capital, is thoroughly enjoying life in one of Dublin’s finest homes.