Kingspan boss selling Dundalk home with outdoor pool for €1.45m

Gene Murtagh's Ballybarrack House is substantial five bed with 2.5 acres of gardens

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Address: Ballybarrack House, Ardee Road, Dundalk, Co Louth
Price: €1,450,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes & Sherry FitzGerald Carroll
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The buyer of Ballybarrack House on the outskirts of Dundalk, Co Louth, will not find the 1850s property wanting structurally.

Prior to its purchase by the current owners in 2000, it was owned by a German couple who had carefully upgraded the property by rewiring, re-plumbing, re-flooring and restoring the original sash windows throughout.

Following its sale the new buyers couldn't have been better positioned to ensure the property's upkeep to a high standard. Ballybarrack House is owned by Gene Murtagh, chief executive of Kingspan, the fast-growth public Irish company specialising in building materials and technologies.

The Cavan native, who hails from Kingscourt (home to Kingspan headquarters), divides his time between Cavan and the firm’s rapidly expanding global network.


The house is less than an hour’s run to Dublin Airport, says selling agent Philip Guckian of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, joint agent for the sale along with Sherry FitzGerald Carroll in Dundalk.

Adjoining land

With a growing family, they are now moving to Dublin having made headlines last year after Murtagh emerged as the mystery buyer of Lota on Coliemore Road in Dalkey.

One of the finest coastal properties along south Dublin's golden mile of luxurious seafront homes, it was quietly purchased for €7.5 million from its owner, builder Frances Rhatigan, in what was the the second-biggest residential property sale of 2018.

As the family prepares to move to Dalkey, Ballybarrack House on 2.5 acres of gardens and grounds has been placed on the market seeking €1.45 million.

It comes with a further option to buy an adjoining 24.5 acres of grazing lands – currently leased – for €400,000.

The house itself extends to a very roomy 5,683sq ft/528sq m with three fine reception rooms and five bedrooms. Located about 3km outside Dundalk off the Ardee Road, it’s within easy access of the town, but the elevated site provides fine sweeping views to Dundalk Bay and the Cooley Mountains in the distance.

Original features throughout have been carefully preserved in particular in the light-filled drawing room which provides lovely countryside vistas from the dual-aspect windows.

A substantial addition by the Murtaghs was a large sunroom – also dual aspect – off the kitchen, completed in 2017. With a wood-burning stove at its heart and floor-to-ceiling concertina doors that fold right back to connect with the garden this is a fine space for casual entertaining.

The Murtagh’s also re-roofed the house during their tenure and installed a new heating system and hard covering on the 15m outdoor pool.

Guest accommodation

Across the courtyard from the sunroom there is separate guest accommodation housed in a nicely refurbished cut-stone outbuilding.

The one-bed with its own kitchen/living area and separate access from the main road will have obvious appeal for anyone seeking to accommodate additional family, guests or an au pair.

A purpose-built gym and sauna are also located alongside.

Ballybarrack House has lots to offer a growing family, from its rambling landscaped gardens, tennis court and pool, to its proximity to the town and local equestrian, golf and GAA clubs.

It will certainly have strongest appeal for anyone keen to hit the ground running and move in immediately to a comfortable family home.

The most recent comparable sale locally was that of Sandymount House in Blackrock, a seafront property which sold for €1.7 million in 2017 on an asking price of €1.75 million.

By comparison with similar sized luxury properties in Dublin, Ballybarrack would appear to offer very strong value to a buyer who can be flexible about where they locate, as the country market continues to lag the capital.

Guckian says the start of 2019 has proved more promising: “We’re seeing about 10 viewings per launch, with strong UK and US interest, and a good domestic take-up too.

Some of the UK interest seems to be driven by Brexit with people keen to get out, and where last year we took the impact of Brexit uncertainty, it seems now that people have to move and are just getting on with it.”

Madeleine Lyons

Madeleine Lyons

Madeleine Lyons is Property Editor of The Irish Times