Political couple’s Dalkey apartment with island views for €895,000

Built in 2000, this spacious south Co Dublin two-bed could be an ideal home for downsizers

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Address: Apartment M, Coliemore Apartments, Coliemore Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Price: €895,000
Agent: Crawford's

When Mary Flaherty and her late husband, Alexis FitzGerald jnr, stood on the path at the front of Coliemore Apartments overlooking Dalkey Island and heard the seals singing, they decided that this was going to be the place they'd retire to. They bought their apartment there seven years ago, just before Alexis became ill; he died in 2015. Now Mary is selling the two-bed, a home which has many reminders of her late husband, especially the period furniture which he loved.

Local Dalkey agent Nick Crawford is handling the sale of the 115sq m (1,238sq ft) first-floor two-bed which comes with a balcony (an extra 4.74sq m (51sq ft)) overlooking the sea, two car-parking spaces, a good amount of storage and a hefty €6,831 annual charge, which includes a concierge service (€5,784 is the service charge, with €1,047 going to a sinking fund).

Alexis loved living near Dalkey village, says Mary, originally from Finglas. She and Alexis were a Fine Gael political couple in the 1980s and 1990s – Mary a Fine Gael TD for the Dublin North-West constituency and Alexis a TD and senator. Elected at the age of 28 in 1981 and appointed a minister of state at the Department of Social Welfare by Garret FitzGerald on her first day in the Dáil, Mary lost her seat in 1997, afterwards becoming CEO of child sex abuse charity CARI.

When the couple moved into Coliemore, the apartments developed on the site of the former Dalkey Island Hotel beside Coliemore Harbour in 2000, they brought in Clontarf interior design company Habu to advise on a revamp. The bright main room of the apartment is a long, wide, oak-floored room painted white, with grey/green silk curtains and blinds. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors at one end open to the flower-filled balcony; a tall narrow window at the other looks over the front entrance to the complex, and two timber-framed windows face Coliemore Road. (They are double-glazed and tinted so that the inside can't be seen from outside.)


The room is currently divided by a circular dining table and a handsome period desk, one of many pieces of period furniture which sit well with the modern decor. Alexis loved antiques, says Mary: an unusual pedestal in the hallway, for example, is a pillar salvaged from St George’s Church in north Dublin. There is both underfloor and ceiling heating in the apartment, which has a BER of C3.

A good-sized kitchen/breakfastroom with a cream-tiled floor has polished black granite worktops, cherrywood units and room for a circular table. There are two double bedrooms: the main bedroom has a good-sized en suite showerroom and a wall of Skön sliding wardrobes which Mary had installed recently, as well as the original fitted wardrobes.

There are more cupboards in the book-lined hallway and more storage in the underground car park. The main family bathroom off the hall is part-tiled with large cream tiles and has a bath with a shower over it. And, possibly of importance to downsizers, owners are allowed to have “well-behaved pets”, says Mary.

Outside, there’s a pretty pond and rockery, and a path overlooking the sea and Dalkey Island.

Prices for the 20 apartments in the complex, a mix of two- and three-beds, including duplexes and penthouses, have of course fluctuated since they were built (apartment M sold for €520,000 in 2014), but have been strong in recent years. In March this year, Crawford sold a three-bed penthouse there with an annual service charge of €13,000 for €2.388 million.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property