When David Dineen was about eight years old, his parents built Derg Lodge as a family home and B&B on one of the most sought-after spots in the country, the shores of Lough Derg in Co Tipperary. The gardens of the property run down to the lake edge where there is a private harbour, and splendid views to Co Clare on the far side.
David remembers childhood summers spent messing about with friends and siblings in boats, exploring the bays and piers along the shoreline, fishing, sailing, swimming and wakeboarding.
As the years went by, he and his brother and sister all held their weddings at the house. He recalls his own festival-style ceremony in 2016: “We wanted to get married down by the water, so we rented a marquee, borrowed one and bought one”. They hung more than 300 candles in jars in the trees, dug fire-pits, and even put a pedalo on the lake for guests to watch from the water.
But best of all, he says, was the way the neighbours all pitched in, bringing bales of straw for seats, and wood to make flaming torches.
The occasion was made all the more poignant as his mother had passed away just nine months before.
Now, David, who works in the family restaurant business, the Ivy Cottage in Doolin, and his siblings are selling the five-bedroom property. The asking price of €850,000 includes 12.67 acres of woodland, gardens and paddocks as well as stables with six loose boxes, a tackroom, storage and a floodlit sand arena, a boon to prospective buyers who are equestrian enthusiasts.
The house has been well-maintained over the years and is in turnkey condition. It was designed with three large bay windows on the south-facing rear of the house that make the most of the lake views.
All the reception rooms lead off the large hallway and are interconnected, which is handy for entertaining. To the right is a study, and a large double-aspect drawing room with a bay window. The dining room has French doors onto a sun-catching patio, while the generous-sized kitchen/breakfast room has another bay and that essential of the country kitchen, the Aga. The utility room can be accessed from both the hall and the kitchen, and has a door to the rear garden. There is also a guest WC.
The accommodation wing is set off to one side of the hall, and comprises five double bedrooms, all en suite. The master has the third bay window, built-in wardrobes and views to the lake. There is also a family bathroom.
The huge attic space is currently divided into three large rooms and an en suite, offering plenty of options, subject to planning, to develop the property’s obvious tourist potential.
David likes to nose up the lakeshore by boat and stop in at Larkins in Garrykennedy – ‘just two pubs and a harbour’ – and those interested in boats will have their pick of picturesque lakeside spots at which to moor. Hikers will enjoy the proximity to long-distance walking routes such as the Lough Derg or East Clare ways.
Derg Lodge is 5km from the busy village of Ballina, which is divided by the Shannon from Killaloe, and is a magnet for anglers, walkers and those renting cruisers to explore the Shannon, as well as locals in search of seafood at Goosers Bar, or a slap-up meal at the Wooden Spoon cafe.
The property is an ideal family home. “It was amazing as a kid,” says David. “You’ve got the lake and the mountainside and you’re only a short distance from Ballina. It has everything.” That includes local schools in Ballina and Killaloe, as well as Portroe, and Raheen Wood Steiner School a half hour’s drive away in Tuamgraney.
Limerick city is 30 minutes’ drive, and Shannon Airport, 45 minutes away.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6300/ Sherry FitzGerald Talbot (067) 31496
Viewing: By appointment only
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