Residents’ rescue mission gave this Stoneybatter home one big advantage over other Dublin 7 enclaves

Asking price: €475,000

Agent: DNG (01) 8300989​

Halliday Square has one great big advantage over the many terraces constructed in Dublin’s sought-after Stoneybatter enclave and it’s in the name. A downside to an artisan terrace in the area is the tiny rear gardens or yards which can make things difficult if you have young children in particular.

The exterior of the property

Halliday Square, however, has a railed garden with some rare green space at its centre, albeit more of a rectangle than a square. This public space was rescued and brought back to life by the community in recent years.

“When I moved in, it was quite overgrown, but all the local people came together to clean it up and replant the flowers. It’s a lovely, relaxing space now,” says Clodagh Vance.

The owner of No2 returned 10 years ago from Australia, where she’d worked as an accountant and had saved enough money to buy her first home. Then single, she bought No2 Halliday Square — a two-bed terrace in rundown condition.

The kitchen

In 2014, she paid €270,000 for the 732 sq ft home, which has almost doubled in value in the last decade. “It was all I could afford at the time. I’d always loved Stoneybatter and I fell for the house immediately,” says Vance, who grew up in Glasnevin.

Built by the Artisans Dwelling Company (DAC) in 1907, the house was occupied by 26-year-old John O’Brien, a customs and excise officer in 1911, according to the census. He lived there with his wife and their one-year-old son.

The communal bench

It had been empty for two years before Vance acquired it after the previous owner, an elderly gentleman, passed away. “It wasn’t exactly derelict, but it was uninhabitable and in need of renovation. There was no heating, the windows needed replacing and the bathroom, which had been added on at some stage, was particularly grotty,” she says.

Vance had seen her parents and her two siblings buy houses, renovate them and sell them on, and she planned to do the same. But having spent all her savings on purchasing the property, she had little left over to work with. As a result, she did as much of the work herself as she could and roped in family and friends to help.

The living room

A friend’s father, who is an architect, helped with the remodelling of the galley kitchen, which was originally where the utility room and bathroom were. Another friend’s father helped to rebuild it, and another found radiators for the house.

“My Mum Sheila restored the three original cast-iron chimney pieces, which had about 50 years of paint on them and needed to be stripped back. She also helped to pull down the old wallpaper on the walls.”

Vance lived with her parents for a year while the work was being done. The windows were replaced with replicas of the original six -pane versions. She also sanded down and varnished the original wooden floorboards herself and renovated the original doors throughout.

One of the bedrooms

In the last year, her brother and his girlfriend, who are both artists, moved in and painted some of the rooms. They chose a fresh shade of light green in the sitting room and opted for a darker shade around the window frame, adding pale green curtains and patterned green and white cushions on the couch.

They also opted for bold choices in the kitchen. Here, the walls are marshmallow pink, which combines well with the white subway tiles on the splashback and the white units. There’s a stainless-steel cooker in the alcove of what would have originally been the fireplace, and a shelf which holds pots and pans, and a pink kettle above it.

The utility room off the kitchen now leads to the bathroom, which has pristine, modern white units and a rainwater shower, with a skylight in the roof.

Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms, which share an alcove on one wall between them. Both have original cast-iron fireplaces. One of the rooms has been painted peach and the other white. The work took over a year and during this time, Vance started going out with her now husband, Eoghan O’Neill, who works in aircraft leasing.

In fact, she roped him to do some of the painting. “We actually met on our J1 in the US in 2006, but we hadn’t been together since then. We started dating again when he moved to Dublin,” she says.

The bathroom

In fact, she moved into the house on her 30th birthday in 2016 and held her birthday party there. “Funnily enough, my now husband wasn’t there because that was the year that Connacht won the Senior Football Championship, and he was off celebrating,” she says.

Guests at the party spilled into the six-metre-long yard at the back, which faces southwest and gets the sun all day. It backs on to St Brigid’s Military Hospital and, as a result, is not overlooked. “That’s unusual for Stoneybatter,” says Vance. “It’s very peaceful out there and a real suntrap in the summer.”

The backyard has room for garden furniture and includes a mini shed. “There’s a lot you could do with it. It could be tiled and the walls painted. It would lend itself to trailing plants also,” she adds.

The couple were very happy in the house. They spent lockdown there and became friendly with many of the neighbours. “There’s such a good community spirit in the area,” says Vance. “During lockdown, one of them — a professional musician who plays the violin with the National Symphony Orchestra — put on outdoor recitals there. Another has a plum tree and she often drops in boxes of plums. We also have a street party in the summer, which is always a lot of fun.”

Now they have baby Sam, who is two, so they’ve bought a bigger period home in North Strand, which they’re also renovating. She’s sad to be leaving. “It was kind of the start of everything for me — my first home and the first place I lived with my husband,” she says. DNG seeks €475,000.