Ahoy there, terrific lookout from €285,000 East Cork Coastguard Cottage – Irish Examiner

6 Coastguard Cottage, Ballymacoda

Ballymacoda, East Cork 
93 sq m (1001 sq ft)
GUARDING against the depredations of smugglers and foreign invaders was the raison d’etre for the Coastguard in the heyday of the British Empire and as quick response times were called for, it made sense that they would live close to the sea.

For the most part, nothing came between them and the shoreline they were tasked with protecting (Ireland and Great Britain), so their homes were as close to the water as you could ever wish to be.

No planner would give the go-ahead today to build a terrace of homes on a stunning, windswept headland through which loops the South and East Cork Bird Trail, part of a broader area of international importance for bird life and wetland habitats.
However back when the cottages featured here were built, in the 1860s, the Irish planning system was still a century away and protecting the Queen’s revenue was far more important than preservation of oystercatchers or peregrine falcons. Nor was building impeded, as it is nowadays, by a ‘Locals Only’ rule, where the family line needs to run back to the beginning of time in order to build in certain townlands.
Generally speaking, the path of least resistance today to owning your own home near the coast is to buy rather than to build. With that in mind, here’s one that might appeal, and as it’s a former coastguard’s home, you won’t get any closer to the shore than this.

No 6, Coastguard Cottages, beyond the tiny East Cork village of Ballymacoda, out on the small, rural Knockadoon Peninsula, is one of a half-dozen Victorian-era cottages, bookended on one end by a tall, stone viewing tower. 

In fact the house for sale here is right next to that viewing tower and as the former Captain’s Cottage, it has a bit more leg room than the other five (see upstairs window count).

The vendor, Paul Boast, who is reluctantly selling, says the walls of the cottages are “massively thick, designed to withstand bombardment” and the viewing tower is proof of the pudding, having withstood a Fenian attack in 1867.
Mr Boast believes the row of cottages were linked by an interconnecting corridor back in the day.
“There’s a good bit of history attached and it’s been a fantastic spot to have a holiday home,” he says.

Mr Boast bought No 6 in 2016, having spotted it in the Irish Examiner (his wife, Catherine Mayberry White, has Cork connections). The asking price back then was €180,000. It’s on the market now for €285,000, with Kyle Kennedy of Hegarty Properties, but a good bit of work has been done in the interim.
“We ripped out the bathroom and the kitchen and replaced them in 2021 and we installed a multi-fuel stove. We had the chimney replaced and we had the seawall reinforced too,” says Mr Boast.

They also put in a new wall in the long, slender front garden, which runs right down to Ring Strand, a spot favoured by foragers in search of periwinkles and mussels and seaweed, but also a lovely spot for fishing and swimming and bird-watching. A nearby looped walk takes you along the cliffs at Knockadoon Head, which is a nature reserve.
Right above the beach, at the shore-end of the garden at No 6, is a cleverly-designed, sunken patio/seating area, sheltered for dining, and a terrific look-out on a summer’s day.

Mr Boast, who is UK based, says there was nowhere better to enjoy their summers.
“We drove the length and breadth of England to get the ferry, and when we arrived at Ring Strand, exhausted, it was worth it, just to hear the sound of the sea at the bottom of the garden,” he says.

They had lots of lovely beach days and kept a boat in the garden which was hauled out now and then for a spot of boating. Great neighbours made their stay all the more enjoyable, Mr Boast says, “Where we were in the UK felt so crowded, so it was lovely to get to Ireland. Plus my wife’s family is from Carrigaline,” he says.
However with age catching up – he and his wife are in their late 70s – the journey has become too much, and so with a heavy heart, he has put the house on the market.
Interest has been instant, Mr Kennedy says, and he already has an offer at the asking from a potential local buyer, for use as a holiday home.
He adds that the cottages are in a fantastic location, of great character and with peerless sea views, enjoyed from the main daytime accommodation, which fittingly, is upstairs.

 The panorama from the living room is over the entire Youghal bay and glass doors link through to the kitchen diner, so everywhere is good and bright.

Sleeping accommodation (three bedrooms) is downstairs, along with a bathroom and utility. There’s a shed out front, and parking, and a small garden to the rear.

Mr Kennedy says first time buyers are among those interested in the 1000 sq ft property on account of the price and it could just as easily be a fulltime home (most in the terrace are), as a holiday home. The energy rating is D2.

For nearby retail, there’s a general store/post office in Ballymacoda and Midleton town is 20km away. Youghal town is 17km away.
VERDICT: If you’re on the lookout for an affordable home in a unique coastal setting, this could be the signal you were waiting for. Could be ideal for a couple starting out, or winding down to retirement.
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