A large Sligo country house on 131 acres beside the estuary where the river Moy runs into the sea, owned for nearly three decades by the late businessman Gerry McGuinness, comes with a swimming pool, mews cottage, a helicopter hangar, stables and a refurbished stone gate lodge among a number of outbuildings.
McGuinness, who died in 2018, was a founder of the Sunday World newspaper and a board member of Independent News & Media. He bought Moyview, near Enniscrone, Co Sligo in 1990, the year his son David was born.
“Dad spent a lot of his childhood in Ballina [10km away] and Enniscrone, visiting a McGuinness family friend,” says David, who lived there until he was seven, when his parents separated. He has happy memories of Moyview, where he also spent a lot of Christmases and where his mother ran a pony club.
The whole estate, which borders the estuary, is now for sale. Savills is seeking €1.5 million for Moyview, an 817.61sq m (8,801sq ft) house and mews, with a separate 95.22sq m (1,025sq ft) gate lodge on 131 acres.
The Moyview estate dates back to the 18th century, when it was a single-storey thatched house belonging to a Colonel Wingfield, a member of the family that owned Powerscourt in Wicklow. Extended over the years, the now two-storey property was significantly renovated and redecorated by McGuinness.
Heated swimming pool
Downstairs, accommodation includes a vestibule opening into four reception rooms and a conservatory; a large country kitchen/breakfast room has a terracotta-tiled floor, a brick island unit with a timber countertop and timber units. New owners are likely to redecorate the house to suit modern tastes, but David believes the kitchen has “aged unbelievably well”.
Upstairs, the four bedrooms are all are en suite. The main bedroom has a large walk-in dressingroom with fitted wardrobes and large windows looking out over the estuary.
There’s a heated swimming pool at one side of the house, with a changing room, bathroom and shower. The mews cottage at the other side of the house - which was used as staff quarters - is self-contained but effectively attached to the house. It has two bedrooms, and a kitchen/sittingroom/diningroom.
The stone gate lodge was completely restored in 2002, with roof slates from a local church: the two-storey house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, sittingroom, diningroom, kitchen and small garden.
There is another single-storey three-bedroom cottage on the estate, a derelict single-storey gate lodge and a number of outbuildings. These include the helicopter hangar: Gerry McGuinness had a pilot’s licence and a helicopter. A Dubliner, he lived in many places at home and abroad (one was Gandon villa, Emsworth, that neighboured Charles Haughey’s Abbeville in Kinsealy) but spent as much time as he could in Moyview when he was in Ireland, says David.
Mature gardens surround the house and there’s a courtyard at the back. One hundred and twenty of the 131 acres of farmland are leased to local farmers.