Mountpleasant Avenue home with restored Georgian details for €1.25m

The owner transformed the property into a bright three-bed with extended kitchen

  • Address: 53 Mountpleasant Avenue Lower, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
  • Price: € 1,250,000
  • Agent: Owen Reilly
This article is 4 months old

Since 2017, when 53 Mountpleasant Avenue Lower in Ranelagh was last purchased, it has been transformed from what was four flats with a plastic front door, to what it is today: a fine three-bedroom property with a large bright kitchen extension and a separate mews to the rear.

Purchased for €620,000 “it was probably the worst house on Mountpleasant and I knew it would be a challenge,” says the owner, recruitment consultant Blaise O’Hara.

“We spent almost €450,000 on the renovations and building the mews as we wanted to get it right. I remember telling [Kells Traditional Timber Windows and Accessories in Co Meath] to work their magic on a new front door, windows and architraves as what was there was just awful and we wanted to pay homage to its Georgian origins,” says O’Hara.

In addition, the property has an extension designed by Alan O’Connell of OC architects in Ranelagh, who also designed the mews building to the rear of the garden. All the period details had to be addressed as they were removed when the house was laid out as flats.

Front reception room.
Front reception room
Open-plan kitchen/dining area.
Open-plan kitchen/dining area

John Duffy of Academy Fireplaces (on Parnell Street, Dublin) was a great help to us; not only did we source a lovely Georgian fireplace there, but he is passionate about Georgian detail so gave us lots of advice.”

The 145 sq m (1,561 sq ft) house, which is BER-exempt, now has two interconnecting living rooms to the front, which lead to a big open-plan kitchen and dining area. “What is quite incredible is the way that Blaise designed the upstairs layout in the property,” adds estate agent Clodagh Murphy of Owen Reilly, who is handling the sale. “It is totally different to most period houses here, and its clever design allowed for three bedrooms and three bathrooms upstairs,” says Murphy.

From French doors in the kitchen through the bamboo-flanked patio lies a new (46 sq m/500 sq ft) mews. At garden level is a garage, and upstairs is a space occupying a home office and studio. It is here that O’Hara runs her charity, the Grace O’Malley Foundation.

Double bedroom.
Double bedroom
Interconnected reception rooms.
Interconnected reception rooms
Back garden and kitchen extension.
Back garden and kitchen extension

“It is a completely voluntary charity that focuses on keeping the elderly poor out of nursing homes, and sometimes it is a simple thing like installing a stair lift in their home. They can end up in a nursing home if they cannot climb a stairs – to use the loo – and we try and help them with reconditioned stair lifts”.

The charity takes its name from O’Hara’s mother Grace O’Malley, who encouraged her to get involved with a charity, and because of her mother’s fear of ending up in a State-run nursing home, the idea for the Grace O’Malley Foundation was born. “Both my parents were doctors and my grandmother was Dr Sal Joyce, who was the first Irish female anaesthetist.”

Based in the Central Hospital Galway a century ago, despite having provided care for in excess of 4,500 tonsillectomy cases without a single mortality, her remuneration of £100 per annum was 40 per cent less than her all male colleagues, and she is credited as personally campaigning for more equitable arrangements for women.

Today, the O’Malley Gold Medal is awarded to outstanding undergraduates of National University of Ireland, Galway, in recognition of her and her husband Conor’s contribution to medicine. Their granddaughter’s house, from which she is downsizing, is on the market through Owen Reilly seeking €1.25 million.