House of parliamentarian in Balbriggan for €165,000

Former minister’s three-bed with organic-certified gardens and trailer garage


When Trevor Sargent was minister for horticulture, he says, he was frequently asked what was involved in going organic. “The best way I could answer that was to speak from some experience,” he says.

So he set about getting his Balbriggan garden – a south-facing space with cobblestone, seating and picnic areas – certified as organic, something he achieved in 2008.

“It just requires being aware of the requirements,” says Sargent. “That means being able to trace any inputs in the garden, keeping records of receipts when it comes to seed or seed compost – they all have to come from organically certified sources.” It’s not always easy, Sargent admits, and when garden centres couldn’t serve his needs (to be organically sourced), he was forced to go elsewhere – online, “or to get familiar with outlets such as Fruithill Farm in Bantry”.

The garden isn’t the house’s last word in eco chic, either – number 37, which is on sale with Sherry FitzGerald and asking €165,000, has 40 tube roof-mounted double solar panels for heating water, a wood-burning stove in the lounge and a trailer garage out front, which doubles as a raised bed, growing flowers, herbs and heathers.

“Some people have speculated that it’s a nuclear bunker,” says Sargent. “I want to dispel that – it is not a nuclear bunker.”

Organic cycle
The house itself is not unusual in terraced-house terms – downstairs there is a lounge and an open-plan, oak-fitted kitchen-cum-dining room with a sliding patio door to the rear. Upstairs, it has three bedrooms, one of which has sliderobes while the other two have built-in wardrobes.

Location-wise, Tara Cove is a small residential development of 80 homes, located five minutes from the nearest bus service and 10 minutes’ walk from the beach and train station – although your organic garden would probably put you in the mood for cycling.

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