Ranelagh Victorian where Diarmuid Gavin got big break for €1.95m

Terry Keane’s former home was a gathering place for Ireland’s cultural elite

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Address: 62 Ranelagh Road Ranelagh Dublin 6
Price: €1,950,000
Agent: Lisney
View this property on MyHome.ie

It is rare that a garden in Dublin can boast input from two of Ireland's most prominent designers. In his autobiography, How The Boy Next Door Turned Out, garden designer Diarmuid Gavin tells the tale of how Helen Dillion, "the queen of Irish gardening", had drawn a design for the late journalist Terry Keane on the back of a cigarette packet, and how after meeting Keane at a party, she requested Gavin, then starting out in his career, to execute the design.

Gavin spent months in Keane's Ranelagh garden, finding his client – who later became his mother-in-law – to be "a perfect mix of Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley's characters" in the 1980s comedy series Absolutely Fabulous.

Gavin described the house at 62 Ranelagh Road, as a place “where Ireland’s cultural elite and opinion makers gathered and where champagne flowed”. Over the years Keane, who lived at number 62 until 2001, entertained a host of celebrities here including astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The property, which extends to 232sq m (2,500sq ft) is set back from Ranelagh Road, allowing the interior to be unaffected by the busy thoroughfare outside – further aided by the shrubbery in the front garden.

Its internal layout is unusual compared to its peers along the road – the hallway leads directly into a sunroom that spills out on to a raised barbecue deck.

Period features

The house retains all of its key period features and is in superb condition. Of note are some beautiful arched windows – in the hall and upper landing, with further arches in the principal bedroom and drawing room.

The property has four bedrooms – three on the upper floor and one at garden level – while off-street parking to the side allows the front garden to focus on plants and their blooms.

At hall level there are two formal reception rooms, and at garden level there is a kitchen and large living room.

The gardens, while not particularly large comprise small pathways framed by box hedging with towering trees and shrubs. There are four separate areas for dining al fresco – depending on the path of the sun. A potting shed to the rear has been converted into a home office.

Unusually, the property which dates from the Victorian era, has an abundance of storage throughout allowing the rooms to be clutter-free.

The current owners are trading up and have placed their home, in turn-key condition, on the market through Lisney with an asking price of €1.95 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

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