Developer Paddy McKillen jnr's Oakmount has acquired the clifftop lands and access route to Magheramore Beach in Co Wicklow.
While the sale of the 21-acre site by its previous owners had raised fears in relation to the question of future public access to the beach, The Irish Times understands Mr McKillen and his business partner Matt Ryan are adamant that this will not be an issue. A spokeswoman for Oakmount declined to comment on the company's purchase of the lands when contacted.
The developer secured the Magheramore site for €700,000 in an online auction presided over by agent BidX1 on June 25th last. While the amount paid represents a massive premium on the €210,000 the property had been guiding in advance of its sale, intense competition involving five parties on the day saw bids surpass the €550,000 mark. Wicklow County Council was among the unsuccessful underbidders.
Owned originally by the Columban order of sisters before its original sale back in the 1980s, and several sales since, the land serves as the route to Magheramore Beach, a beautiful cove beloved by surfers and the setting for numerous TV productions including historical dramas such as Vikings and Camelot, the EastEnders spin-off series Redwater, and Amy Huberman’s Finding Joy.
In recent years, the popular beach between Blainroe and Brittas Bay has served as the location for the annual "Dip in the Nip", which sees a hardy band of swimmers take to the waves to raise funds for cancer research. The cove is also a hotspot for water sports and is widely considered the best location for surfing on Ireland's east coast.
Commenting on Magheramore in their guide to the country's best swimming spots, At Swim, Brendan MacEvilly writes: "You'd pass the place easily, 1.5km south of Blainroe Golf Club. It's noticeable only by a couple of cars parked on the road ... on a beach like this, you might prefer things to stay as they are: peaceful. The only sound is the gushing of waves. A high wall of lush reeds, ferns and evergreens surround the beach, blocking out the world."