Named after Sir William Stamer, a former lord mayor of Dublin, Stamer Street is home to some of the largest houses in Dublin 8's Portobello.
In 1830 Stamer’s grandson Standish Stamer O’Grady, a young barrister, sent shock waves through the genteel world of middle-class Dublin when he was killed in a duel. It occurred at a time when Ireland held a reputation as the world duelling capital and prompted the establishment of the Association for the Suppression of Duelling.
Further bolstering its edgy reputation, in the early 1900s, Stamer Street – which was developed as a residential area in the 1880s – was the scene of a shooting, whereby two Jewish men were fatally injured on their way home from a night out.
Thankfully, nowadays shooting in the area is confined to the glamorous world of film sets.
Number 16 is a handsome, mid-terrace, two-storey over-garden property, which is appraised in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for its “skilled artisanship” and canted bay window that “facilitates increased light”. The property also featured in the film When Harvey Met Bob.
The 2010 film starring Domhnall Gleeson tells the story of Irish rock musician Bob Geldof, who, appalled by coverage of the famine in Ethiopia, came up with the idea for the legendary Live Aid concert. The music-based fundraising initiative, the first of its type, raised more than €100 million and was reportedly watched by 1.9 billion people.
"It was a real family moment, as Dad had the DVD of Live Aid, so when a film scout approached us to use the house, he was delighted," says Tara Duggan, who now lives in the house that her parents bought in 1981.
“They spent about three days shooting here and the scene with Geldof watching the BBC coverage of the atrocities in Ethiopia was filmed in the front room.”
As the property is listed as a film location, Duggan says they get quite a few requests to use it. “Just last week we received a letter asking if we were interested in allowing our home to be used in another film that is due to begin soon and it all stemmed out of When Harvey Met Bob.”
While the property could potentially garner an income as a film set from time to time, new owners can remove it from the database if they wish. There’s further income potential if required in the garden-level accommodation as this is laid out as a self-contained two-bedroom unit with rental potential. For anyone wishing to use the entire property as a single family home, the garden level can be easily reinstated to the main house, which has a generous 260sq m (2,799sq ft) of accommodation.
Duggan’s parents rented the basement unit in 1974 and the then landlord approached them asking if they wished to purchase the entire house, which they duly did. Duggan lived in the basement after she married and later moved back into the upstairs part of the property to care for her elderly father. Now the family are downsizing as she says the space is too big for three people.
The interiors are filled with vintage finds – a passion of Duggan’s. “The Age Action shop just around the corner on Camden Street was a wonderful source for stuff and we also bought quite a few pieces from our travels to France.”
Another great source was the now closed Rugs to Rhinos shop at Harold’s Cross, where she found the gazebo that takes centre stage in the east-facing 30ft rear garden. “I thought why not when I saw it, and it was a great find. Our friends sit around it on sunny evenings when we have barbecues and it forms a centrepiece in the garden.”
The location needs little introduction; it is just two minutes from Camden Street, which is home to a wealth of eateries and within a short stroll of music venues such as the National Concert Hall, Whelan's, the Olympia and the Iveagh Gardens.
A further bonus is that the attic has already been converted and is accessed by a proper set of stairs. “We had the intention of transforming it into a cinema room or home office, but really the house is just already too big for the three of us.” It is currently used as a third sitting room.
As it stands the property has two kitchens, one at hall level and one in the basement, so to bring it back to a single unit new owners just have to decide where to put their kitchen. Placing it in the basement – which is the current trend – allows the hall level to have two fine reception rooms and creates a natural flow to the garden from the conservatory and kitchen downstairs.
With flexible options for the prospective buyer, this fine period home in the heart of Portobello is on the market through Mullery O’Gara seeking €1.1 million.