€450k Howth fixer-upper was a Michael Collins safe house
Three-bedroom home with coastal views – and potential for wide glazed extension
- Address: Cliff Bungalow, Balscadden Road, Howth, Co Dublin
- Price: € 450000
- Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
Cliff Bungalow is perched high above Puck’s Rocks and Devil’s Rock at the point where the cliff path walk around Howth head begins. Built in 1847, it’s a timber-framed semi-detached house – in which all the rooms are timber-panelled – that has been in one family since 1905 and needs complete refurbishment.
Accommodation consists of three bedrooms on one side of a hall, a bathroom at the end of the hall and a livingroom and a kitchen on the other side with views of the sea. It isn’t listed but is in a special amenity area, and could not be knocked down.
A local architect has drawn up a feasibility study for the property, and owner John Connolly believes new owners could get planning permission to build a glazed extension the width of the house on the sea side. This would take up most of the small cliff edge garden.
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With uninterrupted views of the sea towards Ireland’s eye and Lambay Island, Cliff Bungalow on Balscadden Road has 98sq m (1,050sq ft) of space, and situated on 0.237 of an acre - including driveway - it’s for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €450,000. The property was first put up for sale in 2011 and then again in 2015 with an asking price of €395,000.
The house has not been refurbished since it was built, apart from being re-roofed in the 1970s by the owner’s parents. He grew up in Cliff Bungalow, a house inherited by his mother from two great-aunts, sisters called Carmody, who bought the house and Cliff Cottage – the other half of the semi-detached, now the home of Connolly’s sister – in 1905. They ran the two properties as a guesthouse with a door linking the two – but it also operated as a safe house.
Both sisters were members of Cumann na mBan and had been responsible for giving the all-clear for the Asgard to sail into Howth harbour with its cargo of guns in 1914.
Michael Collins stayed here during the War of Independence, and the story goes that a final draft of the Anglo-Irish Treaty was kept overnight in the bungalow on Collins’s trip home from London to discuss it with the Irish cabinet.