Model home with a river running by
CO LIMERICK €465,000:The Shannonside home of former model and TV presenter Barbara McMahon is so inviting that even swans bring their offspring to visit, writes ALANNA GALLAGHER
THE MALL House in Castleconnell, Co Limerick, is a Shannonside, detached originally Georgian property. The three-bedroom property belongs to Barbara McMahon, one-time presenter of RTÉ’s fashion series Head To Toe.
The property is as well turned out as you would expect a former fashion model’s home to be. Set on the elbow of the river the house has uninterrupted views of the Shannon and you can hear the gurgling of the weir from all rooms.
The property is about 197sq m (2,125sq ft) and is for sale at €465,000 through agents Savills.
McMahon bought the late 1700s property in 1999 as an investment. At the time she was still living locally in a larger property called The Grange.
She gutted it, swivelling the living space to face the river. When she sold The Grange in 2006 she extended the property adding the bow-shaped extension.
“The plan was to live happily ever after in it,” she explains.
Twelve years ago, after separating from her first husband, Limerick businessman Marcus McMahon, Barbara was “unexpectedly swept off her feet” by Terry Grant, a retired solicitor from her home county of Louth.
The couple married in 2008 and live in the wee county. Barbara had no more need of her riverside house and, while reluctant to give it up, knows that: “When love knocks on your door you have to open it.”
The house has a country-style kitchen with painted units, beech countertops, a smart Stanley cooker in racing green, a Belfast sink as well as a gas hob. It leads into a sun room.
The room Barbara describes as her “winter study” has a Georgian-style bay window with a window seat and there are built-in bookcases on either side of the gas-fuelled fire.
In the drawing room there is a painted Adam-style fireplace, a gas fire and double doors into the sun room, a gorgeous bow-shaped room with interrupted views of the Shannon. Here you can see the swans returning to their nesting grounds. Annually, the proud parents have paraded their cygnets, “little balls of fluff” as Barbara describes them, in her garden.
If you ever tire of the views the room has boxed-in louvred shutters to cosy up the space on cold winter nights.
Double doors open from the sun room to a sheltered terrace, protected by a high stone wall.
To the rear of the house there is a compact lawned area surrounded by a stone wall and mature shrubbery.
Upstairs, there are three double bedrooms. The main suite is an airy, bow-shaped room with a wood-panelled ceiling.
The room has dual-aspect windows with French doors opening onto a small balcony that overlooks the river. Off the bedroom is a dressing room, offering oodles of closet space, and a wet room with a bay window and double doors to another riverside balcony.
The twin bedroom has an en suite bathroom. The third double has a trompe l’oeil window, salvaged from the property’s original gable end. Barbara fitted it with mirrored glass and swagged it with curtains to mirror the window in the room.
The Mall House, Castleconnell, Co Limerick
Description: three-bedroom Georgian house by the Shannon