Sorrento House: Dublin’s priciest home sells for €10.5m

Dalkey property has long held title of ‘Dublin’s most expensive home’ goes to US buyer

Dublin’s most expensive residential home – Number 1 Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey – has been sold. The high profile end-of-terrace property with spectacular views of Dublin Bay on the area’s most exclusive coastal strip was sold in recent weeks to a US buyer for about €10.5 million.

The six-bed, which has been on the market since 2013 for €12 million, has had mixed fortunes. It recently gained the title “Ireland’s unluckiest property” after being involved in eight legal cases in a decade.

Number 1 Sorrento was purchased by Irish businessman Terry Coleman in 1998 for IR£5.9 million (€7.5 million) – the highest price ever paid at the time for a Dublin property. Coleman extensively modernised and extended it, pouring an estimated €13 million into a painstaking refurbishment. It was then placed back on the market in 2006, asking a breathtaking €30 million.

A sale was very nearly completed for €22 million at the time to bankrupt solicitor Brian O’Donnell, former owner of the controversial Gorse Hill property nearby. But the deal fell through over an unresolved legal issue with the house next door. This in turn led to a number of legal proceedings being taken by Coleman against contractors for the refurbishment. These have since been resolved.


Sorrento House was returned to the market in 2013 with a reduced selling price of €12 million. David Ashmore of Sherry FitzGerald and David Bewley of Lisney were joint agents for the sale, which was brokered through Christies International. Ashmore declined to comment on the purchase except to confirm that the new buyer plans to use Sorrento House as a private residence.

The owner can look forward to palatial living in a stunning setting – the 714sq m (7,685sq ft) property sits at the end of a gleaming strip of protected Victorian houses between Bullock Harbour and Killiney's Vico Road. The grounds cover two acres of headland, giving it an unrivalled dual aspect. The panoramic views take in Dalkey Sound, Bray Head and the Sugarloaf in the distance.


To the side of the property, a two-storey extension was added from basement level down that ties the garden into the property at every level. Other recent additions are a summer house, a separate guest/staff apartment and a garage for six cars – on two levels.

Neighbours on the strip include film-maker Neil Jordan, who owns two adjoining houses, legal professionals, and property developing partners Robin Power and Michelle Kavanagh. The adjoining property, which is substantially smaller, sold for €2.5 million in August 2012, while 3 Sorrento Terrace sold in May 2014 for €3 million. Number 1's sale price of €10.5 million would be consistent given that the house is more than double the size of Number 3 and the property's exceptional situation on two acres of headland.

Sorrento House was lavishly refurbished throughout and it features antique Jerusalem marble in the hallway, three types of wood in the ornate parquet flooring in the diningroom, and decorative Japanesque panels that were commissioned for a number of rooms.

Perhaps the finest room is the orangery, glazed on all sides with three sets of French windows opening to a wraparound terrace that takes in the full breadth of Killiney Bay. A fully stocked cocktail bar makes it the ideal setting for pre- and post-dinner drinks. In the study downstairs, Coleman’s keen interest in game shooting and fishing was indulged with wall panels handpainted by celebrated gamebird artist Rodger McPhail.

Coleman and his wife Anita plan to settle in the UK where they currently spend most of their time.