Donegal thatched cottage by the sea with income potential for €275k

Refurbished and rethatched Bumblebee Cottage near Killybegs has been available as a rental for €550-€780 per week

  • Address: Bumblebee Cottage, Fintra, Killybegs, Co Donegal
  • Price: € 275,000
  • Agent: DNG Dorrian

A couple from southside Dublin fell in love with the view from a thatched cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal three years ago – so, in 2016, they bought it. Tanya McGilligan and Adriaan Waiboer completely revamped the house in sympathy with its original style, rethatching the roof and installing oil-fired central heating. They spent summers and Christmas there as well as letting it as a holiday home.

Now they’ve sold their home in Monkstown and moved to France, and Bumblebee Cottage, high on a hill overlooking Blue Flag Fintra Beach and 4.5km from Killybegs, Co Donegal, is for sale for €275,000 through agent DNG Dorrian in Killybegs.

McGilligan, who ran online fashion business and Monkstown shop Style Ikon and later worked for Hunters Estate Agents and Waiboer, who was head of collections and research at the National Gallery of Ireland, have now bought a chateau-style house in France. They plan to revamp two houses that come with that property as gites to rent.

Bumblebee Cottage is a wide, single-storey whitewashed cottage built in the late 19th century: it has a high-vaulted timber ceiling with exposed roof beams, a wide open-plan living room, dining room and kitchen and two bedrooms at opposite ends of the house. A small new extension is a utility/storage room. The two-bed property extends to 44sq m (475sq ft).

Floors throughout most of the house are reclaimed oak. There’s a newly installed 19th-century sandstone fireplace in the living room, and timber units, a Belfast sink and teak worktops in the kitchen. The windows have deep sills typical of traditional Irish cottages.

The main bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and room for a king-size bed; the second bedroom has two single beds. A modern bathroom has Victorian-style sanitary ware and a bath with a power shower overhead.

Most traditional of all is the thatched roof, which the couple rethatched with grant aid from the Heritage Council: Donegal thatcher Ivor Kilpatrick applied a new 10in coat of rye straw and used willow “scollops” and ropes on the roof to protect it from high winds. The house has a septic tank and mains water supply, but no wifi.

The couple have rented the cottage at prices ranging from €550 to €780 per week since they refurbished it, employing a local woman to take care of it for them; visitors have come from all over the world, with American visitors especially attracted. It’s offered for sale as a going concern, if new owners wish to keep letting it. Bumblebee Cottage is about a 3½ hour drive from Dublin.