Howth Head convent on 7.3 acres will attract developers at €3.5m guide price

Sisters of Charity to use sale proceeds to fund ongoing charitable work

Joint agents Lisney and Farley Property have been instructed by the Religious Sisters of Charity to offer the landmark Stella Maris Convent and Retreat House on Howth Head for sale.

The property, which has been in the ownership of the congregation for over 125 years, is being brought to the market today at a guide price of €3.5 million. The selling agents say they expect to see “strong interest from developers and investors – and perhaps from wealthy individuals seeking a once in a lifetime special property”.

Situated on 2.9 hectares (7.3 acres), with 0.6 hectares (1.6 acres) zoned residential, the property and land offers a significant redevelopment opportunity for luxury houses.

Formal gardens

The property currently comprises a complex of buildings extending to an overall area of 743sq m (8,000sq ft). The various buildings include an extended two-storey Victorian residence; a second two-storey house offering retreat accommodation and a large single-storey prefabricated building used for seminars. There are 23 bedrooms in total, numerous reception rooms, diningrooms and kitchens together with a single-storey chapel built in 1929 and two prefabs.

The main formal gardens, with separate organic vegetable garden, have been meticulously cared for and are south-facing. They slope from Carrickbrack Road down to the sea and the rocky shoreline which allows easy access for swimming. The property enjoys completely uninterrupted views over Dublin Bay and on to Co Wicklow.

The property has a total site area of approximately 2.9 hectares (7.3 acres) and is located in areas zoned RS – Residential and HA – High Amenity under the Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023. Approximately 0.6 hectares (1.6 acres) of the lands are zoned for residential development while 2.3 hectares (5.7 acres) are zoned for high-amenity use.

Climate change

The property is for sale by tender on June 28th next with vacant possession to follow at the end of this October.

The funds generated from the sale will be used by the Sisters of Charity in their continuing work with people affected by human trafficking, in their efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on poor communities, and in the promotion of education.

Commenting on the decision to sell the Stella Maris Retreat Centre,the congregation’s superior general, Sr Mary Christian, said: “Due to the inability of our ageing congregation to continue our retreat work, a decline in numbers attending and the need to spend money to modernise the building, we have decided to sell and use the proceeds of the sale to go towards some of the charitable work our congregation carries out at home and abroad.

“The sale will enable us to continue that important work whilst also supporting the care of our sick and elderly sisters.”

Further details on the property are available from joint agents Ross Shorten and Martin O’Halloran of Lisney, and from Graham Farley of Farley Property.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times