How to get there:
From Thurles take Nenagh road for 6kms past The Ragg. The house is on the left.
Eamonn de Valera was President when I was a child. A very old man at that stage, he was almost blind and was an austere and forbidding figure sitting up in the back of the old State Car wearing a black hat. To me he was a terrifying sight and I didn’t like him at all. Well, whatever I thought about the man, he got his own back because when I got married I was in a fairly pressurised job and when we moved into our new house the timing of the move, arranged three months in advance, was down to seconds. The carpet layers were coming first along with the plumbers. De Valera upped and died and the Nation went into mourning. His funeral was on the day of the move, the carpet layers went out in sympathy, whilst the furniture removers from the old house didn’t, hence the furniture arrived first and the carpet layers arrived after dark much the worse for the wear……….
John and Nora Egan’s Inch House in Thurles sits proud in the middle of lush farmland with a drive up to the stately front door. The first thing you notice about Inch, is the meticulous care given to the pot plants outside the door – perfectly cared for but the second thing I noticed was the portrait of Dev over my bedroom door! Get John Egan talking about politics and you could have the fun of your life – he is gregarious and brilliant all in one. Nora laughs quietly in the background at the good of it all while she overseas this meticulous well cared for house. Their daughter Mairin, who has wide experience in the hospitality industry, has now also returned to base to help run this great house. Have a drink in the beautiful William Morris papered blue, white and gilt, drawingroom and listen to the local stories. The Restaurant attracts people from all over the place for the ample cracking five course dinners served by wonderful ladies who will look after you like a mother. The House was the former home of the Ryan family for hundred years– a great Tipperary name- and in fact shortly after I wrote about Inch House I had an email from the Ryans in New Zealand where they have now made there home. Have a look at the stained glass Ryan coat of arms on the staircase the family motto was “Death Before Dishonour”. The bedrooms are peaceful and comfortable and you will recline on the finest linen in a Prince Albert bed before coming down to a lavish breakfast in the magnificent diningroom again. It is a beautiful house on wonderful grounds and I can’t wait to get back there again. Please note this is a non-smoking house.