Designated a biosphere reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Killarney National Park has captured the hearts of many across the globe.
In 1861, during a royal visit, Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting were so taken with a view that it was named after them: Ladies' View.
Nestled at the edge of the National Park and set on 34 acres surrounded by woodland, parkland and its own private lake is Killegy house and hunting lodge.
The former holiday home of Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin, while subject to much media attention over the past few years, is one of the real hidden gems in the kingdom of Kerry. With views to the Lakes of Killarney, Torc Mountain and the Macgillycuddy Reeks in the distance, the house is accessed via a discreet entrance through the national park along a driveway flanked by purple rhododendron.
The property, which consists of two units: a detached four-bedroom house extending to 517sq m (5,564sq ft) and a two-bedroom guest house measuring 120sq m (1,291sq ft), was constructed in 1995. Though idle for almost a decade – so in need of refurbishment – there is no doubt that a colossal amount of money went into the property when it was initially built.
Take, for example, the gym: it has a full-size Jacuzzi and steam room, but many will find the faux Italianate columns and muralled ceilings a bit over the top, as is the case with the overuse of stained glass in the heavily panelled oak hallway.
But its size and location, with 34 acres at the edge of a national park of outstanding beauty, will be what will attract buyers to this slice of paradise as chances are you would never again get permission for a structure so large.
Besides its own lake, the property also has a tennis court and what it calls a separate hunting lodge, though it is unclear whether hunting has taken place on the grounds since the properties were constructed.
It is being sold by receiver Deloitte, and selling agent Catherine McAuliffe of Savills says the asking price of €950,000 reflects the fact that the entire property will possibly cost the same again to bring it up to a high standard and improve its BER, which is an E1.
But after that what a spot it will be: tucked away and perhaps echoed in the words of Count John McCormack’s song Killarney from 1910 as a place where “angels fold their wings and rest in that Eden of the west”.