Hollywood couple turn Donegal holiday cottage into stunning modern home

written by Stephen September 13, 2018

Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick have started a major renovation of their Donegal holiday home.

The Hollywood couple’s home was once a humble hillside cottage no different to hundreds of others dotted across the county.

But the Sex in the City star and her family are giving their Kilcar holiday hideaway a dramatic makeover.

The home, on the outskirts of the village, was bought by Broderick’s family more than 40 years ago.

But it has remained untouched despite SJP and her husband bringing their family there whenever they can.

Now the traditional house at Roelough, Kilcar is set to take on an amazing modern look with a huge extension on both sides.

The couple received planning permission for their new house design back in 2015 but have only started the development this summer.

Workmen were busy getting ready to put roof tiles on the new wings of the house this week.

Sarah Jessica Parkers renovations at the cottage in Kilcar Co Donegal. (North West Newspix)

The new design boasts four bedrooms, a den, living area, a new kitchen complete with courtyard linking the old and new designs.

The architects for the new design which also boasts a corrugated roof and traditional sash windows are Dublin-based company Donaghy and Dimond of Francis Street.

The planning application states “This cottage and outbuildings belongs to a family with a residence in this place for more than forty years. The cottage has been kept with its surrounding outbuildings and ‘gardens’ and meadows around the house.

“They wish to continue this tradition from one generation to the next by conserving the original and upgrading the existing accommodation.

“The plan is to give a new lease of sustainable life to this homestead.”

The huge renovation suggests that the Brodericks could be spending a lot more time in their Donegal hideaway in the coming years.

SJP, hubby Matthew and their children recently spent a number of weeks at the house.

The couple were spotted in various parts of the county including Donegal Town and Ardara.

SJP even took to Instagram to post a picture of herself and her family, including son James and their seven-year-old twins Marion and Tabitha doing a one thousand piece jigsaw on a rainy afternoon.

She also posted pictures of visiting a library and having tea and brown bread.

And in her farewell Instagram post, the actress wrote of all that she will miss about Donegal and Ireland.

SJP and her family.

The list includes turf fires, skylines, local Donegal tweed and the “open smiles” of locals.

However, SJP also writes about her love of Irish food including lamb cutlets, spuds and Kerrygold butter!

Her posting read “Farewell sultry and fickle skies
“Farewell plumes of smoke from chimneys
“Farewell ranges emitting the earthy and welcoming smell of turf
“Farewell chips and tweed and open smiles
“Farewell “marked bags”, lamb cutlets and kerrygold
“Farewell to the most perfect spuds in all the world. Flowery or waxy. I will miss you most of all.
X,SJ”

The post has been liked by more than 82,000 of her 4.5 million followers on Instagram.

The house belongs to SJP’s husband Broderick whose family bought it many years ago.

He said he is so thankful to his parents for putting the money together to buy their Irish holiday getaway.

“My parents bought a place there when I was about eight. And my sisters and I have inherited it and I’ve taken my kids. It’s up near Killybegs and Kilcar.”

“Donegal, it’s unbelievable. It gave me a whole new childhood in a way. I grew up in New York City, I was born and raised here, so the fact that my parents managed to put the money together to get us there was a great gift to us.

“You know the landscape, the hiking but it’s also the people there that I grew up knowing. Real farmers who worked the hay in the summer and milked cows. I really, really got to know my neighbours and that just doesn’t happen in the same way here in the U.S. We just really felt welcomed there. It’s another culture, a wonderful place.”

Broderick says most locals in Donegal knew him long before he found fame through acting.

“People would say it’s special because of the sea air. I remember how deeply I would sleep there. It was so quiet, the smell of the turf fires, and the hay. I used to love helping with the hay,” he said of his childhood days in Donegal.

“Most of the people in Donegal knew me long before I was an actor. But even since then they don’t talk that much about it, which is very nice. My wife still gets it, some people’s eyes pop out of their head when she walks around but not our neighbours.”


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