Around the block: Edna O’Brien’s childhood home fails to make auction guide price

Drewsborough House in Tuamgraney, Co Clare, where author Edna O’Brien grew up, will be sold by private treaty

Drewsborough House in Tuamgraney, Co Clare, where author Edna O’Brien grew up, will be sold by private treaty

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 01:00

It seems not even an international literary reputation can bridge the Dublin-rural property divide. The birthplace of Edna O’Brien in Co Clare was withdrawn from auction this week €150,000 short of its guide price. The five-bedroom Drewsborough House in the east Clare village of Tuamgraney was the childhood home of the author of, most famously The Country Girls, and was guiding a price of €350,000.

However auctioneer Noel Corcoran withdrew the property from auction, unable to get a bid higher than €200,000 at the Old Ground hotel in Ennis.

The highest bidders on the listed building were a young married couple, Seamus and Laura Hurley, who engaged in talks with the auctioneer afterwards but no sale was agreed. Corcoran was representing a client handling the sale of the estate of O’Brien’s late sister-in-law, Claire O’Brien.

The auctioneer sought first bids at €350,000 but quickly went down to €150,000 for the opening bid. There were just two other bidders on the property which is in need of repair.

One of the interested observers at the auction on Tuesday was a nephew of Edna O’Brien, Michael Blake, who lives next door to Drewsborough, and whose own mother was born in the house. He said he had spoken with Edna O’Brien that morning, and that she had been “a bit stunned” when he informed her the house was up for auction later on as she had loved the place.

The property has been on the market for nearly three years and reflecting afterwards Corcoran said: “It just goes to show that money isn’t easy to access and you can’t compare the Dublin market with here – they are not on the same street.”

Drewsborough will now be sold by private treaty.