Ghostly Fields of Athenry link to sale of Rathgar house

A sign outside a newly sold redbrick causes a stir in one of Dublin’s most popular haunts

The sign in question

The sign in question


It’s rare enough that the signage posted by estate agents outside properties for sale will cause a stir, but one sign posted in recent weeks in a Dublin suburb has raised more than a few eyebrows. A fine redbrick end-of-terrace property in lovely Rathgar was placed on the market last August for €1.5 million, and selling agent Westcourt Management Services (WMS) duly placed the usual for sale sign outside. So far, so normal.

Then, a few weeks ago, the coveted sale agreed sign went up outside the property, along with another, slightly worrying sign below, which read: Not Haunted. Now our interest was piqued. A quick query to the agent revealed that the sign had been posted on foot of a couple of inquiries they had received about the property.

They said one such inquiry had appeared to be joking, and they didn’t pay too much attention, until another, more serious query came through. It seems the concerns in relation to the property being haunted may be linked to a plaque on the property which bears the address Trevelyan Terrace. As WMS estate agent Colm O’Cleirigh put it: “You’ll know Trevelyan had his corn stolen by some guy from Athenry. He seems to have contributed to the Famine so much that he’s associated with death etc. The question was whether this terrace was named after the same Trevelyan.”

Many will be familiar with this story as immortalised in the words of the song Fields of Athenry, which features Michael, who was imprisoned after he allegedly “stole Trevelyan’s corn/So the young might see the morn”. The linking of the property to Famine death seems a bit of a stretch, and according to the agent, was not something that either the vendor or the new owner were particularly perturbed by. Following a price drop in January to €1.3 million the house finally sold for about that sum.

What the remaining occupants of the six flats within the property think of it all remains unclear, because the matter was never put to them. They must be greatly reassured, however, by the new sign outside their door.