Fitzgerald White House
67 Eagle Valley, Enniskerry, County Wicklow
Selling Price: €1.395m Broker: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 286 6630
Des and Luke Fitzgerald are a father and son who have both donned the green jersey at the highest level in rugby.
Des played for Ireland as an amateur player from 1984 to 1992, appeared at two World Cups and undertook a Lions tour in 1986 before retiring at the age of 35.
Luke, meanwhile, began playing at Blackrock College, went on to win the European Cup with Leinster, a Grand Slam with Ireland and secured a place on the Lions Tour of Ireland aged just 21 — 34.
Des previously worked in finance and IT and is now retired. While his rugby career was over when he and his wife Andrea (a former midwife) and an Ireland international bought their home at No 67 Eagle Valley in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, his son’s career had not yet begun.
From then on, the 3,348-square-foot, five-bedroom Neo-Tudor detached home was the launch pad of Luke’s own rugby career.
“It was the basis for everything Luke did,” says Des. “We moved here in 1998 when he was just 10 years old and growing up here, throwing rugby in the garden and other parts of the house,” he laughs.
There was plenty of room to throw the ball around No67. The house was new and one of 100 to be built on land formerly owned by the Powerscourt family, situated at the entrance to the estate. And the communal green space in front became a sports ground for all the sporty Fitzgerald kids all summer long.
The kitchen has been renovated twice. The space now has light gray units with quartz countertops and cream tile on the floor that were only installed three years ago.
There was originally a separate dining room but the partition has been removed to create a large open plan living area which now accommodates a dining table for 10 people. There is a marble topped island with a pine inlay and a wine cooler underneath in the centre.
The house has three reception rooms, the largest of which runs along the front. It features a gas fireplace and white mantel and polished hardwood floors. The walls are taupe and the furniture is cream and white.
Andrea, Des’s wife, chose the light color scheme throughout and the entire interior. “For most of the rooms, I chose white, cream, light beige, or light gray…to give them a calm and welcoming look,” says the former interior designer. The attic was also expanded. Originally it had two rooms used as bedrooms and a bathroom. It now consists of an unofficial guest room, an office and a gym that Des uses to keep fit. His international matches for Ireland hang here.
There are four bathrooms, one of which has a freestanding wooden stand bath and matching washbasin. “I love that it’s a modern take on an old-fashioned bathtub,” says Andrea.
The rear garden faces south west and has sun all day. It has been landscaped with a row of mature birch trees to the rear and a lawn to the rear of the patio.
“The terrace is a big sun trap,” says Des. “In summer we often have breakfast outside, but we also have a dining table for 10 people and use the terrace for barbecues.”
Des and Andrea have entertained many times over the years and the house can accommodate many people. “It’s a fantastic party house because all of the downstairs rooms have folding doors that slide back to create a really big space,” says Des. “You can open the whole ground floor.”
“You can also open the kitchen’s triple accordion door so it opens onto the back garden. That’s one of the things I love about the house,” adds Andrea. “We had great parties there and a lot of Luke’s achievements were celebrated here.”
Just last year, the white LED color scheme home and garden hosted the wedding reception for Luke and now-wife Aisling Burke.
“It was ideal because that was during Covid,” says Andrea. “It was a fantastic day and the house was perfect as a venue.”
The location is also what makes the house so attractive. “We were drawn to Enniskerry because of its easy access to the mountains and sea, scenic countryside and a busy village with all amenities,” says Des. “It is only 12 miles from Dublin city center and is close to schools and a variety of sports clubs, which was important to us.”
The couple have five children: Luke, now 36, is the eldest, Racheal, 34, Rebecca, 32, Sarah, 31, and Aaron, 26, and all are passionate about sports. The girls played basketball and hockey, Aaron Rugby, at school.
“When the kids were little, we had a lot of fun around the house,” adds Des. “It was such a great place to raise a family. It’s a close-knit community and all the kids knew each other.”
Now that their children have all left the family nest, Des and Andrea believe it’s the right time to sell.
“This is a very large house for just two people, but we’re still sad to have to leave,” says Des. “We have a tremendous amount of wonderful memories from 25 years of living here. But everything has its time.”
No 67 Eagle Valley is now on the market through Sherry FitzGerald for €1.395 million.
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/white-house-of-the-fitzgeralds-42325479.html Fitzgerald White House