Hideaway home with island views beside Westport for €645,000

Mayo market town offers plethora of amenities and retains sense of community

Carrowholly, Westport, Co Mayo

Carrowholly, Westport, Co Mayo

 

Figures released from the Western Development Commission show just how attractive Mayo is as a destination to work and reside. Apart from pristine beaches, mountains and greenways for those in search of escape, or indeed thrills from the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean, the average commute time in the county is just 23 minutes with monthly rental rates 45 per cent less than the national average.

Throw in weekly childcare fees of €157, in comparison with the national average of €184, or €251 in parts of Dublin, and you can understand the attraction of this part of the western seaboard. Though Castlebar is the administrative seat in the county, Westport has become something of a mecca for those wishing to relocate to the west and all it has to offer.

The town of more than 5,000 inhabitants, which already bagged the Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland award once, has more than 100 community groups that have helped this pretty market town become a cosmopolitan centre against its dramatic backdrop of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay.

Carrowholly, Westport, Co Mayo
Carrowholly, Westport, Co Mayo
Living room
Living room
Entrance hall
Entrance hall
Sun room
Sun room

With arts, sporting and music festivals, it is large enough to offer a plethora of lifestyle amenities yet small enough to retain a sense of community. “Post lockdown, we saw a surge in demand, which has continued, especially for properties on the shore or with good views,” says local agent Peter Tuohy of Tuohy O’Toole, adding: “There is also a good demand for inland houses, which has stretched as far as Castlebar, and prices have increased as a result.”

Mr Tuohy says the profile of the buyers are either older couples who wish to retire to the west or young couples in their 30s who are making a lifestyle choice: “Rather than cramped city living they can have a larger property with a substantial garden, and the fact that there is a direct train to Dublin makes Westport very attractive.”

David Baird arrived from the seaside Dublin suburb of Sutton in the 1980s after marrying Castlebar native Teresa Quinn. A marine zoologist by profession, he originally worked in the fish farm business before founding Clare Island Sea Farm, where he worked as chief executive, and which became the first farm in the world to have organic salmon certification.

He has since moved into invention, creating everything from tidal turbines to board games. Thirty-two years ago, along with his late brother Ian Baird of architectural firm Kaye Perry and Partners, he designed this contemporary family home on Golf Course Road in Carrowholly, just outside Westport town.

Kitchen/dining room
Kitchen/dining room
Dining room
Dining room
Study
Study
Hallway/living space
Hallway/living space

To maximise the views of Croagh Patrick – locally known as the Reek – Clew Bay and the quay, the property is inverted, whereby living areas are upstairs. Off these rooms are two balconies that follow the path of the sun.

“It is a great party house, and I just love sitting at the kitchen table looking out over the bay to Clare Island,” says Teresa Baird. The couple are downsizing from their four bedroom 279sq m (3,003sq ft) detached property perched on a lovely elevated site of just under an acre, close to the golf course and rugby club. It’s less than three miles to town and nearby is Mayo sailing club at Rosmoney, which David, an avid sailor, helped establish. He was also the most recent winner of the Westport winter chess league in 2019.

Located at the end of a winding driveway and fully hidden by swathes of trees, the Baird home in Carrowholly, which has a BER of C1, is now on the market through Tuohy O’Toole, seeking €645,000.