A Schoolhouse Idyll Awaits You…


Are you on the hunt for that wildly romantic, Irish utopian period property? Then this will defo float your boat. Especially because the price is €80,000.

By Nicole Buckler

How’s this for a renovator’s dream? An old primary school has come onto the market. This is for all of you who have that fantasy of creating the perfect place to watch Netflix where once children were caned for picking their nose.

The Old Meelin National School, in Rockchapel, Co. Cork is just one of those properties. Wildly historical, intensely interesting and most importantly, a total bargain, this school is ripe for renovation into a three-bed residence on half an acre. You could have the hobby farmers dream: chickens, strawberries, pigs…OMG free bacon for life.

This is a traditional 1914 stone-built schoolhouse, where children learned their ABCs and were probably throwing spitballs at each other for most of its existence. And the good news is that the basic structure is sound. The sellers are calling it a “blank canvas” (which means that you need a crack team of plasterers for sure) but it has good stonework, and an original slate roof.

It has road frontage so you can get to the town of Rockchapel in under two minutes. This is good for an emergency visit to Paddy Power when you get a shady tip on a race, or if you are starving and need an emergency vindaloo from the curry house.

Even though you are in a country setting, you can access Kerry Airport easily should you need to fly out to your deposit box in Switzerland. And here’s an interesting little fact about Rockchapel: The village got its name from the penal times when the Catholic religion was banned. Mass was said on a rock in a remote area. Plus, an enthralling titbit about the hamlet of Meelin: At 251 metres above sea level, Meelin is the highest village in Ireland, although Glencullen in County Dublin would like to fight them at dawn with handbags over this: they claim to be the highest at about 251.5 metres. Either way you are high.

The schoolhouse has a beautiful mature hedgerow and trees, and reassuringly… electricity. Phew…teas can be made. And it has a well on site, for when the guards bust in and you have to drop your suspect goods down a dark wet hole somewhere.

The building hasn’t been used as a school since the 1960s, so it does need quite a good flogging to get it into shape. But if you are a DIY enthusiast or are happy to pay someone to be a DIY enthusiast for you, then this has great potential as a small business. You could rent it out to all those people across the world who claim to be an Irish schoolkid in a previous life. They can relive their childhood canings and re-enact feigning close attention to their Irish lessons.

It is a little Irish fantasy, and you might even be bidding against me if you put in an offer.

Want to buy it? Email: poneillconstruction@hotmail.com


Buy the 2019 Old Moore’s Almanac

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