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Cork Lives
On the TV show, Home of the Year this week, judges visit a restored lighthouse keeper's cottage in East Cork.
On the TV show, Home of the Year this week, judges visit a restored lighthouse keeper's cottage in East Cork.
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Get a sneak peak inside this lighthouse cottage in East Cork which appears on Home of the Year

WHEN she was a little girl, Saoirse Fitzgerald used to go to a school beside the lighthouse in Youghal.

Many years later, when she was living in London, she noticed the lighthouse keeper’s cottage beside the coastal landmark was for sale — and bought it!

The restored and property cottage features in the next episode of Home Of The Year on RTÉ1 on Tuesday at 8.30pm.

Saoirse, originally of Claddagh, Co Cork, spent a few months renovating the property with the help of conversation architects and her family.

Her dad helped her with the bulk of the work and they wanted to modernise the house but retain its character while doing so.

They kept as much as they could, such as the original front door, the windows, the fireplaces and the floors where it was possible.

It was important for Saoirse to take advantage of the sea view so she opened up a lot of the walls downstairs. Her bathroom was formerly an old coal shed and is now a mainly glass space which boasts spectacular views out to the sea.

Saoirse loves industrial style and got a lot of furniture made using reclaimed wood and brass.

 The bathroom of the restored lightkeeper's cottage in East Cork.

The bathroom of the restored lightkeeper's cottage in East Cork.

Living next door to a lighthouse is certainly unique and one of Saoirse’s favourite things to do is at night is to sit outside with a lantern and see the beam from the lighthouse flashing and hear the waves crashing.

In an interview with The Echo in 2017, she said of her decision to buy the property: “I entered this third decade of my life and suddenly I had an urge to find a little corner of this world that would be mine.

“Rumour has it that the actor Matt Damon showed an interest in the property.

“I have lived in built-up cities for most of my adult life. So the idea of a house on a cliff, looking over nothing but sea, drew me in.”

Also in the episode of Home Of The Year, the judges Hugh Wallace, Deirdre Whelan and Peter Crowley view a remodelled home in Co. Antrim.

Teacher Michelle Dillon and her husband Paul bought the property in 2018, gutted it and remodelled it to create a home for themselves and their three children.

Michelle describes the interiors as cosy and simple while it boasts beautiful original stained-glass windows throughout.

Plus, we see how Barry Minnock and Yan Fu bought a house in Dublin five years ago and transformed a dark cottage into a unique, bright home.

They built a new living space and kitchen area plus a new garage with a master bedroom suite over it. Yan did an interior design course and has created beautiful interiors throughout. They have curved walls in the two upstairs bedrooms.