€350k Phibsborough house feels far, far away from its urban surrounds

The former Church of Ireland schoolhouse in D7 has had a masterly makeover

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Address: Blaquiere Bridge Schoolhouse, 379 North Circular Road, Phibsborough, D7
Price: €350,000
Agent: SherryFitzGerald

Married couple Jonathan Healy and Pawel Audrzejewski have a serious case of puppy love.

The new addition to their family, their dog Bowie, is the reason they’re upping sticks to depart their very cool schoolhouse on Blaquiere Bridge in Phibsborough, Dublin 7, for pastures greener in Co Tipperary.

Bowie, named after the music legend, is a young Labrador, smiley and affectionate. It’s easy to see how he might win over their hearts but it is a rather extreme move to make for the love of a dog.

It’s not the only reason. The couple are moving to a cottage they already own in Co Tipperary. It is set on about an acre of land and is where they spent most of lockdown, and the time there cemented their decision. “The quality of life in rural Ireland is phenomenal,” says Healy.


The property they’re leaving, a former Church of Ireland schoolhouse, is gorgeous. It is painted a custom blue that is a mix of petrol and Spanish blues. The one-bedroom house is set back from the road and is perched above road level at Blaquiere Bridge.

The refurbishment and layout was already in place when Healy bought the house in January 2014, paying €151,000 for the 67sq m space, according to the Property Price Register.

The exposed stonewalls, the bank of roof lights in the hall that illuminate the kitchen below, and the steel frame, open-tread staircase, were all in situ, designed and executed by the previous owner, Jonathan Kirwan, chief executive of JAK Consulting Engineers. “Much of the heavy lifting had been done,” says Healy.

The front garden is copybook-sized. It is south-facing, with room to lock bikes, hide the bins and have a few potted plants.

The entrance hall is L-shaped and creates a sound barrier between the front wall and the bedroom, a good thing given the number of busses that pass by. While audible, the noise level isn’t intrusive, although you will hear the odd siren heading towards the nearby Mater hospital.

The living room is up at a mezzanine level and accessed via wide, oak-floored steps. It has an exposed stone wall and a pitched roof that rises to about 3.1m high. When you sit in the armchair here, looking out the windows, all you can see is the restful lawn to the front of Phibsborough Library, where mature trees include a Scots pine. It feels far, far away from its urban surrounds.

The bedroom has a similar exposed stonewall and a guest WC en suite, accessed through a pair of double gothic-arched doors. With a little reconfiguration this windowed space could become a wetroom, for currently there is no shower here.

The kitchen is at the foot of the stairs, set in an L-shape. It is small and technically at basement level but gets lots of natural light from the roof lights above. You could extend the kitchen into the adjacent shower room to make it an eat-in space if you did the reconfiguring works to the en suite.

Double-yellow lines surround the property’s boundary but the couple have residents’ disk parking and use the lane to the rear, just off Royal Canal Bank, to park their vehicle. The Royal Canal towpath is at the end of the street and the Royal Canal linear park is across the road.

The property, which has a BER rating of F, is seeking €350,000 through agents SherryFitzGerald.

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors