Inniscorrig, Coliemore Road, Dalkey
Inniscorrig is a magnificent solid-granite castle, dating back to 1847 with its own dock on Coliemore Road, Dalkey. The house is truly striking. It is undeniably one of Dalkey’s finest properties, and indeed one of its most romantic. The property sits on c. 0.72 acres of prime seafront land and the house extends to approximately 5,985 sqft
The hallway is fully paneled with a carved mahogany staircase and the interconnecting reception rooms are 40 feet long with wonderful period details.
The house was built as a summer retreat in 1847 by a very wealthy Dublin physician named Sir Dominic Corrigan, who was based in No. 4 Merrion Square. Corrigan was fond of entertaining on a large and lavish scale – King Edward VII is reputed to have been a guest at the house which “was commemorated by a crown and stars in pebbles set into the patios on either side of the front door”. Corrigan’s own face is set into a granite bust above the front door.
Given the age of the home, it is no surprise that the house changed ownership various times over the years. In the second half of the 1800’s, the house was resided in by Mr. Vincent Henry Jackson – presumably as a summer residence also. The house came up for sale or seasonal rent in 1890.
One of the next owners of Inniscorrig castle, Mr. John M. Walsh, died in 1915. He had various business interests, including ownership of newspapers such as Wexford People, Ireland’s Own and Dublin Saturday Post. He was the son of Mr. Edward Walsh, former Mayor of Wexford, and was educated at St. Peter’s College, Wexford. He died leaving four children, and had supposedly been in ill health since 1911.
The next owner of Inniscorrig was a renowned businessman and financier, Mr William Harvey Du Cros, who greatly improved the home during his time there. In 1918, Mr. Du Cros who, with Mr. Richard Booth (of neighbouring Victoria House), John Boyd Dunlop (of neighbouring Beulah) and other men, formed the international company which we now know today as Dunlop tires. Du Cros married twice and died leaving five sons: Sir Arthur Du Cros, Alfred Du Cros, Harvey Du Cros,Willie Du Cros and George Du Cros. He had a sixth son who died years earlier, Frederick Du Cros.
The following owner was Major O’Malley Keyes. During his time residing at the castle, he had a rifle and two sporting guns stolen from him when his butler was tricked into handing over the guns to men who arrived at the house by car in 1920.
Inniscorrig next came up for sale in 1938. I believe that the then-buyers were the Robinson family – Mr John J. Robinson K.St.G.K.M, architect, and Mrs Kathlene Robinson (née Mrs Kathlene O’Connor-Glynn). Mrs Robinson won various awards for the home’s gardens. Mrs Robinson passed away in 1980 and by this time her husband was already deceased.
The next known owner was uber-wealthy Dermot F. Smurfit, who resided there from the 1970’s (if not before) until he set the house for sale in 1987. Smurfit lived in the home with his wife, Caroline Smurfit, and their children, including actress Victoria Smurfit. Victoria, who attended the elite St. Columba’s Secondary School in Rathfarnham, has previously stated that there was a ‘ghost’ in the attic room – which is presumably the sixth bedroom in the tower. Mr Smurfit supposedly sold the home due to his increasing involvement with the Smurfit organization in Britain at that time.
I am very much unsure as to who resided in Inniscorrig between Smurfit’s sale of the property in 1987 (assuming it actually sold) and the next time it was for sale, which was in the year 2000. At the 2000 action, the castle was withdrawn from auction was is believed to have sold for a sum in the region of £4.5 million. The buyer was most likely Catherine Kelly, who still owned Inniscorrig as of 2015. It is believed that the Kellys purchased the house for a sum believed to be in the region of €5 million. In 2015, Kelly placed the house for sale with an asking price of €10.5 million, having renovated it during her ownership. The house has been thoroughly modernised throughout, but still retains its charm, with features such as the wood-panelled hallway and unique cornice work.
This house is truly magnificent. Dalkey and Killiney may have their fair share of castles, but this is possibly the finest, marrying fantastic looks, panoramic views and comfortable updated accommodation. Other properties, such as Monte Alverno, were castellated years after their original construction by their owners, whereas this property was built with solid-granite blocks in the first place. The harbour at the rear of the property is very unique – it is definitely the most impressive private dock in all of Dalkey. Inniscorrig’s Italianate gardens are also beautiful.