Ischia, Monte Alverno, Sorrento Road, Dalkey

What was once described as a small three bedroomed cottage, ideal for a retreat from the city, with steep gardens that could be turned into terraced landscaped gardens or a rockery, is now a mammoth 5,500 sq.ft property named Ischia. Eddie Irvine purchased the property from businessman Harry Crosbie for supposedly less than €260,000 in 1993, its half acre site making it an attractive development opportunity.

The cottage was subsequently replaced with a new modern structure. I found it somewhat surprising that planning was granted for a 5,500 sq.ft modern behemoth on such a steep and difficult half acre site. The architect, Joe Kennedy, himself noted that the planning process was ‘remarkably smooth’. The site has been put to great use, and brings a little taste of the Hollywood Hills to Dalkey. Outside, the four-and-a-half story house is practically invisible from Sorrento Road due to the height of trees and therefore is not overly imposing on the local landscape.

Ischia was designed as the ultimate bachelor pad, with swimming pool, games room, sauna, four person jacuzzi and a home cinema. There is a 6 metre indoor plunge pool, where one can swim under a glass partition out to an outdoor 23 metre pool with a countercurrent. The pool was troublesome, as it appeared to have been built without planning permission leading to Irvine having to apply for planning retention, which was luckily granted.

As soon as the property was finished, Irvine lived in it for about a week before setting it for sale at an asking price of €6.5 million in 2003. The property lingered on the market for a year before reportedly selling for approximately €5m to businessman Dave Cullen in 2004, who’s interests at the time included The Turk’s Head bar in Temple Bar, the former Clontarf Baths and Seafield Golf Club in Ballymoney, Co. Wexford. These reports were seemingly incorrect as the house never sold.

For years Ischia has been for rent for various prices (circa €7,000 to €8,000 per month), however the house re-emerged on the open market for sale in October 2014 with an asking price of €4 million through Sherry Fitzgerald’s Simon Ensor & Rosie Mulvany.