A monsignor’s bed, a racehorse, get ready to pony, Mount Ruby is a banker

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JOHN B Keane might have been able to pull off a drama from Mount Ruby, titled ‘The Monsignor’s Bed’, featuring a high-ranking cleric who occasionally stayed and an enterprising clothwoman, Agnes Morrogh Bernard, aka Sister Mary Joseph Arsenius , founder of Mayo’s Foxford Wool Mills. Both were related to Mary Morrogh Bernard, the woman who built the house in the 1950s.

Mrs Morrogh Bernard sold her house in 1965, leaving behind the ecclesiastical bed of Monsignor Eustace Anthony Morrogh Bernard, a former Papal Chamberlain Privy, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Westminster and occasional visitor to Mount Ruby.

“We still have Monsignor’s bed and we also have many happy memories of our life in Mount Ruby,” says the current seller, one of seven children who grew up in Mount Ruby after their parents bought the house.

Monsignor’s bed

On an elevated five-acre site overlooking the River Blackwate, this 230m² six-bedroom detached house has character, charm and large gardens, thanks to the late man of the house, a trained horticulturist and agronomist, who indulged in his passion for 2.5 acres.

“In the 70s we were up early to pick lettuce and tomatoes to take to our local supermarket on Main Street, Mallow. Everything was very sustainable, like a market garden. There are even the foundations of a greenhouse that Dad built,” explains the seller.

His mother was queen of the interior.

“She ran a boutique in Mallow called ‘Mystique’ for several years and she always had a great sense of style.

“It was reflected in the house. Even today, you can still see William Morris (famous British textile designer) wallpaper in one of the bedrooms,” the seller explains.

There were many rooms to decorate: two living rooms, a kitchen, a breakfast room and two bedrooms on the ground floor and four more upstairs.

Some rooms were added in the 90s when the original house was extended, including the breakfast room, which leads out to a lovely expanse of lawn through double doors.

“It’s a nice stretch of flat lawn and we’ve had some great garden parties there,” says the seller.

To the front there is a lovely patio from which steps lead down to the lower garden.

Beyond that is the remaining 2.5 acres of land, which the seller recalls using for ponies, sheep and even a racehorse over the years.

“Dad had a racehorse called Ruby Claret as part of a local union. The horse never achieved anything but we still got the silks and it was great fun,” the salesman explains.

The land could appeal to anyone interested in being close to Cork Racecourse (a three-minute drive away) or owning their own horse or other animals, adds the seller.

DNG’s John Ryan is selling Mount Ruby and half the land – 2.5 acres of garden – with an indicative price of €595,000. He says the remaining 2.5 acres (naturally separated from the garden by the avenue) are available to buy for €110,000.

Mr Ryan says of Mount Ruby: ‘I can’t recall anything so large being offered for sale here on Navigation Road in the last 25 years, in terms of location (a short walk from the town of Mallow), the space that surrounds it and the fact that it is detached.

“It needs updating but if you need to plan anything that shouldn’t be a problem as there is already a building on the site.” he says.

VERDICT: A beautiful family home blessed by the Holy Trinity of space, land and location.

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