Recognise this house? Take a dip beside 40 Foot for €2.5m

Neptune Lodge in Sandycove is more private than it looks and takes advantage of its sea views

One of the most photographed and painted houses on Dublin's coastline, which will be familiar to anyone who has gone swimming in the Forty Foot, is for sale for €2.5 million.

The landmark red-roofed house is beside what was originally a lifeboat station more than 200 years ago, the first in Dún Laoghaire.

Neptune Lodge, which dates from the late 19th century, has been extended and updated over the years but hasn’t been on the market for more than 45 years. It’s bright, painted mostly white, with an unusual layout and a slightly Spanish feel: there’s a wrought-iron staircase in the tiled main hall, dark timber doors and brick fireplaces in the two main reception rooms.


The house, which is a detached four-bedroom property in a unique seaside location, has 270sq m (2,906sq ft) of space and is for sale by private treaty through Sherry FitzGerald.


The house is more private than you would imagine, looking at it from outside, and current owner Fiona Kavanagh says the crowds who gather at the beach on sunny days rarely bother her and husband Eugene. (He is one of three former Leinster rugby-playing brothers, including Ronnie, who lives nearby and had an international career, winning 35 caps between 1952 and 1962.)

The bathing spot around the corner from the Forty Foot, adjacent to Neptune Lodge, is known locally as Kavanagh’s.

Neptune Lodge's short driveway, beside the seating area at Sandycove beach, leads to a garage and to double doors that open into a sheltered courtyard.

Inside, the house has been designed to take advantage of views across Scotsman’s Bay towards Dún Laoghaire.

The family room on one side, the large parquet-floored livingroom on the other and the narrow diningroom between them all have bay windows. Two porthole windows in the livingroom belonged to a boathouse that was incorporated into Neptune Lodge.

The kitchen, with cherrywood units and a tiled floor, looks into the courtyard.

Also downstairs is a double bedroom, a shower-room and a utility room in a covered side passage. Upstairs, there are three more bedrooms, two at the front of the house, with unobstructed sea views.


New owners are likely to want to modernise again, and there is planning permission to build an extension at the back over the downstairs bedroom.

The lawn at the front of the house opens directly on to a pier.

Eugene Kavanagh, once a keen water-skier, used to keep a boat on the now-rusting moorings and new owners could replace them. There’s also a ladder for swimmers.

Walls on both sides of the garden keep daytrippers and regular swimmers at bay.