Hidden Donnybrook gem that's always in bloom for €935k

Late florist's three bedroom mid-terrace on a charming lane off Marlborough Road

This article is over 3 years old
Address: 4 Sandford Avenue Donnybrook Dublin 4
Price: €935,000
Agent: Quillsen

Sandford Avenue is a lovely peaceful cul-de-sac of terraced properties situated just off Marlborough Road. Number 4 was home to Eileen Parkinson who died just a week shy of her 91st birthday earlier this year.

Residents of Donnybrook would remember Parkinson as the owner of Flowers of Donnybrook – a few doors down from Donnybrook Fair – which she ran for 40 years. She opened the shop in 1972 and commuted each day from Monasterevin until she moved to Dublin full time in 1976.

“Up until she sold the shop in 2002 – when she was 72 – she was in Smithfield markets at 5am four mornings a week. That is how much she really loved what she did and her gardens are testament to how she loved plants, as there is something in bloom there 365 days a year,” daughter-in-law Una says.

While running her floristry business – which supplied bouquets of flowers to the Late Late Show for years (many of them last minute phone call requests) – she purchased number 4 Sandford Avenue in 1980.


Parkinson oversaw the transformation of the house, which according to Una “was in need of serious repair” to what it is today; an elegant three bedroom mid-terrace on a sought after Dublin 4 road.

Like the road, the house has a lovely peaceful air about it. Extending to 152sq m (1,636sqs ft) Parkinson added a small sun room to the rear, which looks out on the private south-west facing garden. The property has a pedestrian access off the rear garden – a big plus for garden maintenance.

Internally the property has two elegant interconnecting reception rooms to the front, both of which have fine period details. To the rear is a galley style kitchen, breakfast room and the lovely light-filled sun room.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, with an en-suite main, and the family bathroom.

Houses on this road rarely come to the market as they tend to be homes for life.

In 2019, number 6 at 142sq m (1,530sq ft) and in need of upgrading sold for €900,000 – it was seeking €895,000 – and in 2018, number 19 at 113sq m (1,216sq ft) made €900,000. It had been listed at €800,000.

Una describes her late mother-in-law Parkinson as "graceful to the end". The same can be said of her former home at 4 Sandford Avenue, which is now on the market through Quillsen seeking €935,000.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables