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04 Dec 2021

Limerick Property Watch: From Ballyvorheen to Melbourne

Limerick Property Watch: From Ballyvorheen to Melbourne

The tranquility of living in Ballyvorheen House, Murroe, surrounded by woodland and a river is proving attractive to buyers

THE next owners of Ballyvorheen House in Murroe will not just be buying a home on 14 acres –  they will be purchasing a piece of Limerick history.

In February 2018, keen historian John Hassett gave a talk to the Murroe Boher Historical Society entitled Ballyvorheen House; A history from Cromwell to Cosgrave. Many will know it as Thomond Scout Centre.

“Little did I know at that time that Ballyvorheen House would be sold during 2018 and a new story will begin for that property,” he said at time. It was a short chapter as it is back on the market in 2021.

REA Dooley Group are offering it for sale by private treaty with a guide of €249,000. Pat Dooley, director, said they have a lot of interest from the city in the four bedroom property. For anybody sick of working from home in their estate with neighbours shouting, dogs barking, children screaming, DIY enthusiasts, it is the perfect tranquil retreat.

“We are seeing people wishing to move from the city out to the county. They are thinking of upsizing, looking for more land and more space. Their own woodland and river on 14 acres is particularly appealing to a lot of people. 

“For somebody that has the money it is the perfect property to escape from city life but it is less than a 20 minutes commute to the city,” said Mr Dooley.

Converting the older buildings into accommodation for Airbnb is another possibility. Ballyvorheen House appeared on the Property Price Register in December 2018 for a figure of €190,000. However, the register only shows the cost of a house on one acre whereas this historic property stands on 14 acres so 13 acres haven’t been included in that price.

But at least the former owner had the choice to sell.

During his extensive research, Mr Hassett found that in the 1650s the owner of the lands in Ballyvorheen was a Cormac Ryan. He was transplanted to County Clare where he was granted lands around Quin, Barefield and Spancel Hill. 

Cormac Ryan’s lands were granted to Captain Robert Wilkinson of the Cromwellian army in Limerick City. It continued in the Wilkinson family when it was leased to a Richard Bourke of Dromsally. 

“This Bourke family are connected to Sir Richard Bourke who designed the city of Melbourne and who lived out the latter days of his life in Thornfield house Ahane,” wrote Mr Hassett. He found that a Frederick Holland was living at Ballyvorheen House during the Famine. He was  in charge of board of works schemes and “relieving poverty” in the area. A lot of roads are built in the townlands during these years.

Mr Hassett said the most interesting document he came across was a ledger outlining all the tenants in Ballyvorheen in 1844 on the eve of the Famine. “One wonders if they knew what lay before them in the coming years,” he said. 

This piece has barely scratched the surface of Mr Hassett’s talk as Ballyvorheen awaits its latest owner.

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