Why there’s a rare new buzz in bustling Blackrock Village
11 George’s Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin Asking price: €795,000 Agent: Janet Carroll (087) 4002020
The village of Blackrock in County Dublin has always attracted a lot of interest. With its seafront promenades, swimming pools, shops, pubs, restaurants and famous market (with a Michelin-starred restaurant), the Victorian seaside town center is one of the few Dublin villages to be almost completely autonomous for the needs of any resident. .
But when Marc McMonagle’s mother, Vera, died in the summer of 2019, something extraordinary happened at her home at 11 George’s Avenue, just off Main Street.
In the walled back garden, which was Vera’s great love, a huge swarm of bees landed and established a colony on the high Victorian cut stone walls that had made her garden so quiet and private, well that it is almost in the center of the bustling village.
What was special was that it is a swarm of wild native Irish black bees, the only honeybee native to this island and a remaining pure strain of European black bee, once widespread throughout the island. ‘North Europe. Tragically, this strain was nearly wiped out in its former habitats, but it hangs on in Ireland despite being on the verge of extinction in the 1980s.
It is so threatened that last year saw the introduction of a private member’s bill by Senator Vincent P Martin: ‘Protection of the Native Irish Honey Bee Bill 2021’, designed to restrict the importation of foreign strains that threaten it. The Irish Black Bee has been genetically tested and found to be the last truly pure example of the ancient European strain. Although they exist in other European countries, these adulterated colonies have interbred with imported bees.
Marc McMonagle, who moved into the house, now lives between here and his family home in Tullamore. “I’m up and down with my business. The bees weren’t doing any harm so I left them alone. They are mesmerizing to watch and the honey is amazing. But now the family home is up for sale and Marc and the bees are moving out.
“We called on the services of a beekeeper from Offaly, a septuagenarian who grew up with beekeeping. He not only confirmed that it was the native bee, but also remarked that it was by far the largest wild colony he had ever seen. He was blown away. On Saturday, the beekeeper embarked on the task of trying to pack up the bees to move elsewhere.
“We don’t really know how many settlements there are. He thinks it’s one but maybe two. The beekeeper moved the bulk of the bees, which he estimated at over 200,000 Apis Mellifera Mellifera, to a pile of artificial wooden hives and now McMonagle is waiting to see if they adapt to their new houses in preparation. for their big move.
“They built their colony with wax, over the years it got bigger and bigger. They are not complicated at all and you can walk to the hive without any problem.
McMonagle was tickled by their arrival just after his mother passed away. “A friend of mine always said of my mother that ‘Vera likes to live anonymously in the buzz’. By that he meant that she liked living in such a private house with this peaceful garden, but right in the center of things in the village of Blackrock where she could go out and see everything that was going on around her.
McMonagle’s parents, Michael and Vera, made an unusual move when they moved from a bigger house in Stillorgan in the 1980s.
Thinking outside the box, instead of buying a smaller house, they acquired an old cobbler’s shop on George’s Avenue, just off Main Street in Blackrock and behind, the seafront.
They got planning permission to change the use and they tore it down, leaving these big garden walls. They designed it for their needs. Originally a three bedroom house, they soon found they didn’t need all those bedrooms and so reconfigured to make two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
So No11, which hit the market this week, was designed very specifically by downtraders for downtrading. Empty nesters in the many large houses in the area will certainly be interested.
The two-story house is located next to a popular village restaurant serving French cuisine and has a large garage door (containing a pedestrian door) leading to George Avenue. “So the house has secure off-street parking. Parking is a big problem in the village and you will pay a fortune if you can get a space today.
The house has been a boon for McMonagle, who runs a business sourcing Irish meats for a French company and whose job requires him to be in Dublin for much of the week. “I never felt the need to go to town. There’s the Mellow Fig and Conways is a charming old-fashioned bar with a roaring fire in the winter. I would swim in the sea, which is just across the road, or take a walk in Blackrock Park, which is beautiful. The food is fantastic at Kelly & Coopers. To be honest, if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t sell the house.
Slightly larger than an average three-bed semi-detached house at 1,107 square feet, the house has a hall with a guest wc, a living and dining room, a decent sized kitchen and of a veranda.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a door to a large bathroom (formerly bedroom three) and bedroom two has its own bathroom. The secluded rear garden gets the sun all day and comes complete with a shed and those high Victorian walls mixed with rubble and random bricks that give it privacy.
Agent Janet Carroll is asking for €795,000. With the endangered pollination crew also on the move, new owners who appreciate these things will just have to bring their own bees.