Veronica Dunne’s Dublin home on the market for €2.3m

Late soprano held legendary dinner parties at Victorian four-bed on Bushy Park Road in Rathgar

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Address: 37 Bushy Park Road Rathgar Dublin 6
Price: €2,300,000
Agent: Mullery O'Gara

If walls could talk, there would certainly be a lot of chatter from the formal drawing room of 37 Bushy Park Road, one of Rathgar's finest avenues, which links Zion and Rathfarnham Roads. The piano set in the bay window of the elegant Victorian house has entertained the good and the great over the years, as this house was the residence of the late Veronica Dunne.

The renowned singer, who died in April this year, was equally famous for her love of dinner parties followed by recitals around the piano. Captivating millions around the world with her voice, Ronnie – to friends and colleagues and the world at large – had a career that spanned almost 70 years.

Described by Minister for Arts Catherine Martin as a "real trailblazer as a musician, teacher and an utterly inspiring woman", she began her career at the age of 11, when she sang The Hills of Donegal at a party, which led to lessons with Herbert Rooney, and then on to Rome. She shared the stage with operatic greats such as Kathleen Ferrier and Joan Sutherland.

The internationally recognised opera singer, who died at the age of 93, fell in love with the late Peter McCarthy, whose family owned the mattress company that produced the Odearest range, and they married in 1953.


Swapping her Covent Garden operatic career for that of wife and mother in Dublin, she began teaching singing with the Leinster School of Music and later the Royal Irish Academy of Music, with a roll call of students including Suzanne Murphy, Celine Byrne, Tara Erraught and the late Miriam Murphy.

Among her many honours are a doctorate from University College Dublin and a lifetime-achievement award from the National Concert Hall, where she served several terms on the board.

Her home, extending to 311sq m (3,353sq ft), is laid out over three floors with four bedrooms and a dormer – now used as a bathroom – at attic level.

While new owners will want to update the property – there are three reception rooms and a breakfast room off a galley-style kitchen – one of the biggest selling points of this charming house is the rear garden. It is more than 30m (100ft) long and has a much-in-demand southerly aspect, so there is huge scope to extend and create a large open-plan kitchen and living space, subject to planning.

The property, with a Ber of E1, is on the market through Mullery O’Gara seeking €2.3 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

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