Why Yvonne Connolly is saying farewell to her €1.6m home by the sea
After years of juggling family life in the north Dublin coastal town with equestrian interests in her native Kildare, the TV presenter has bitten the bullet and is selling her home by the sea
3 Marley Grove Address: Grove Road, Malahide, Co Dublin Asking price: €1.6m Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald Malahide, (01) 845 4500
If you host cookery presentations on national television, fridge raids by stereotypically hungry teenagers can have dire consequences for programming.
Yvonne Connolly can attest to that after her experience hosting popular cookery slots on the Six O’Clock Show on TV3 and later on ITV’s This Morning.
“When I was cooking on TV, I had to do a lot of preparation at home. You have to trial the dishes and of course prepare the ‘one we prepared earlier’ in your own kitchen. For Irish TV you do anyway.
“My kitchen at my Malahide home was always perfect for cooking. I have lots of counter space, the De Dietrich double oven, the island unit, the big fridge, the whole works. It’s great for all that kind of big food preparation and I’d often film there too.”
Indeed it is. Yvonne’s is a studio bespoke version by Leinster Kitchens with quality Neolith counter tops and sink, a huge French-style larder fridge and a Franke 3-1 boiler tap. And there’s a big island unit to boot.
“I needed it for the day job,” laughs the former model and lifelong equestrian enthusiast.
“During those years my son Jack was a teenager and he’d bring all his friends around. Inevitably they’d start snacking on whatever they found in the kitchen.
“So I’d go down in the morning to get that special lasagne or whatever I’d ‘prepared earlier’ for TV and it would be half eaten or gone entirely. I had to solve that little problem by posting notices on everything that said: “DO NOT EAT, FOR TV!”
Twenty years ago, Yvonne and her former husband, Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating, had moved with their then young children from their first home in her native Straffan to Abington in Malahide.
Since the divorce, Yvonne and the children have remained in Malahide. They acquired their current home in 2015 to be nearer to the buzzing seaside village centre.
“At Abington we were doing loads of driving. I just felt we were a bit detached from the centre of things where it was all happening.”
And just as mum stepped away from our screens in recent years, daughter Missy landed onto them with a bang.
Kicking off with a series of acclaimed film roles in productions like Dark Touch, The Sea (with Ciaran Hinds and Charlotte Rampling) and The Library, Missy is currently enthralling RTE audiences with her spectacular performances on Dancing With The Stars on which she is currently a judge and viewer favourite. Also a model, London-based
Missy is a big presence on social media as an Instagram influencer. “I don’t know how she does it —modelling, acting, social media, now dancing,” says Yvonne.
“She is currently rehearsing so hard, from nine to five, five days a week. She’s just so focused and fused with energy.” So would mum ever think of doing Dancing With the Stars?
“I’d never say never, but not likely!”
With the two older children making their own way in the world, Yvonne and her youngest, 16-year-old Ali (who shares her love of horses) have been spending more time in Straffan on their equestrian activities.
“For years I’ve been torn between the two locations,” says Yvonne.
“As soon as I moved to Malahide I loved it. It’s a real community and it still has the heart of a real village. Of course the best thing is the beach and I spent so much time there walking with the dogs and the kids and horse riding too.
"There’s Malahide Castle with its beautiful grounds. And don’t get me started with the restaurants!” (her absolute favourite is The Seabank Bistro).
“In latter years I had a hankering to get back to Kildare and the horses, but I was always conscious that the older two had their friends in Malahide. Since they’ve moved on, however, Ali is like me — into the horses in a big way — we thought, now’s the time to make that move.”
Mum and daughter have been living back at Straffan for the last year and Yvonne’s long term partner, cinematographer John Conroy, hails from Naas, not too far away.
Yvonne has been training horses and one of her proudest achievements was riding a winner at the Corinthian Challenge event at The Curragh three years ago.
“It was a charity race but we were on proper seasoned racehorses and I trained for six months. I rode in the three races. I had confidence and you need confidence as a jockey to win and I came in first in that one race. The feeling was unbelievable.”
So already re-orientated to equestrian country, she put in a call to Malahide estate agent David Blanc of Sherry FitzGerald (who previously sold Abingdon) and today No3 Marley Grove is being placed on the market priced at €1.6m.
“While it’s centrally located near the DART and the harbour and the village, it’s also a private, safe and secure home and so cosy. In winter when the weather is dark and it’s raining, it’s like a cocoon.”
Marley is a small, exclusive development of six luxury detached homes tucked away in a very private setting just off Grove Road.
As Yvonne points out, it’s within walking distance of Malahide village centre and every conceivable amenity including shops, schools, churches, restaurants, boutiques and the DART station. “Jack used to hop on for school at Belvedere in the city centre,” she says.
Approached by a long winding driveway with rustic stone pillars and electronic gates, the 1990s home is in a timeless mock Tudor style with warm Stringer-style red brick at lower level, and it’s rendered and beamed above.
For the most part the interior decor is in neutral tones with a lean toward greys, whites and monochrome.
It takes an Edwardian cue for a grand entrance with its expansive and bright reception hall complete with a crafted, sweeping period-style staircase and an off white tiled floor.
The hall leads into a open plan lounge/dining room with decor that is ever so slightly Scandi.
There’s a toasty solid fuel stove and picture windows with views of both the front and rear gardens.
One of the receptions has two facing and very cosy looking built-in diner style seats overlooking the garden — these are upholstered in faux fur with arms wide enough to take a cuppa or a glass of vino. Perfect for one-on-one chats.
The dining area is open plan and leads to that bespoke kitchen by Leinster with matching worktops and big breakfast bar. All to TV chef standards.
From the kitchen there’s a pantry area with access to a gym/study as well as a top drawer utility room.
Also on ground floor level, there’s a TV room to the front with a period fireplace for some privacy in a busy home. There’s also a bright guest WC off the reception hall.
There’s some pretty nifty light fittings in the living room. Upstairs has five good sized bedrooms, two of which are ensuite. The master overlooks the landscaped grounds.
Outside there’s a garden with a sun patio and a shed. And while you can’t keep a horse in it, Yvonne and Ali soon discovered that Malahide has plenty of liveries and facilities to keep one. Bring your steed, book in and then you can go horse-riding on the beach.
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