Homestead built on farm of late GAA star Des Foley hits market

In this, the year of mighty Dublin’s historic five in a row victory at Croker, consider the past dual talents of Des Foley from Kinsealy, who became the only player in history to contest two provincial Railway Cup finals on the very same day, in hurling and football; and emerged with medals from each.

Des and his brother Lar were cereal farmers and the sons of Patrick Foley of PK Foley Ltd – a transportation company well known in Dublin. They attended St Joseph’s Secondary School in Fairview and both succeeded at representing Dublin at football and at hurling.

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Des won four Dublin senior hurling championship medals with St Vincents and he captained the Dublin minor hurling team that won the All-Ireland final in 1958. He achieved his dual medal Railway Cup feat in 1962.

As a Dublin senior hurler he played in the All-Ireland final in 1961, losing to Tipperary. But in 1963 he got his senior medal when he captained Dublin’s footballers to beat Galway in the All-Ireland football final. Brother Lar accompanied him on both the Dublin hurling and football teams.

When he wasn’t on the field he was working the fields.

The brothers farmed grain and potatoes in Kinsealy. Later Des entered politics and became a Fianna Fáil TD. Tragically, he died young, aged just 54 in 1995.

But Foley farm land provided after his passing for a new generation of the family to establish their roots in Kinsealy. His daughter and her husband took over a part of what was known as Warren’s Field on the Foley family farm with a view to building their own house and starting their own family. That was back in 1999.

In fact they became one of the very first people in Ireland to build a timber -framed house. Back then the technology was widely in use throughout Europe but not here in Ireland where a definite “three little pigs” phobia prevailed of building with anything other than blocks or stones.

Neighbours recall the surprise of going to work in the morning past an empty field and on the return journey passing a field with a house in it.

Today timber-frame building is mainstream in Ireland.

If anyone doubts its longevity, take a look at Warren Lodge which is 20 years old this year and looks like it could have been finished last year.

And so with their own children all reared, the owners are reluctantly selling up their family homestead. At 4,500 sq ft, or more than four times the floor space of an average semi, it’s just too large for the couple, who were themselves both born and bred in Kinsealy. As neighbours they knew each other as children and started dating when he was 17 and she 15 respectively. But now it’s time to trade down and they’re looking for a smaller home in the area.

Kinsealy-born Dubs do like to stay here because, like a hurling/footballing Foley, it offers the best of both worlds.

While essentially rural and still a farming location, Kinsealy is within a few miles of Malahide Village with its range of shops and restaurants and, of course, the estuary, beach and sea.

The house is located opposite the entrance to Abbeville, the former home and estate of the late Taoiseach Charles J Haughey. The house was acquired by a Japanese hotel interest some time back and there are expectations that it will be refurbished for tourism purposes.

Remarkably for a 20-year-old property, Warren Lodge comes with a B3 BER rating, which simply would not be the case had it been built back in the day using the traditional block method.

Accommodation includes a decent sized timber floored entrance hall with a guest wc off it and leading to a number of receptions.

Among this is the snooker room and home bar which is triple aspect with a bay window, a marble chimneypiece and a small pub sized bar. Double doors from here lead to a decked patio outside.

There’s also a dual aspect living room which comes with a bay window and then there’s the kitchen. This has a tiled floor and a range of fitted floor and wall level units with granite work tops. There’s a large centre island too, which is also granite topped.

The kitchen is equipped with a five plate hob, a Hotpoint oven, Neff extractor fan, a fridge, Miele dishwasher and a centred AGA cooker set in granite surround. Double doors also lead from here to the deck. Off this is a utility with tiled floor, generous range of fitted floor and wall units, plumbed for washing machine, and alarm panel. It has access to an airing cupboard and plant room.

Also on this floor is a full-sized playroom and a study, both with timber floors and the latter with double doors to the garden.

Upstairs there are five double bedrooms all of which are ensuite. The master chamber has triple aspect views over the countryside.

There’s a detatched garage to park the car as well as forecourt parking to the front. The site is accessed via electronic gates and there’s CCTV and a security alarm.

The property comes with an acre of ground which would suit growing vegetables and a small holding.

The house is within reach of the DART at Malahide and the famous castle. Drogheda and Dublin Airport are also handy by car. The agency appointed to sell the property is Brady & McCarthy which is seeking €1.485m.

Warren Lodge Kinsealy, Malahide, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.485m

Agent: Brady & McCarthy (01) 564 0032

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