1794 – Drummullagh House, Omeath, Co. Louth
Erected by James Bell on the occasion of his marriage to Catherine Harvey, and deliberately aligned to maximise panoramic views of Carlingford Lough. Distinguished by the fine porch and fanlight, as well as by the Wyatt windows on the principal rooms. Drummullagh House was a favourite holiday destination of Captain George Alexander “Alec” Dobbin (1871-1945) and his Anglo-Rhodesian wife Gertrude Page (1872-1922) whose novel, “Paddy – The Next Best Thing” (1908), was based in Omeath with Drummallagh House inspiring the protagonist’s home “The Ghan House”.
The romantic comedy novel was such a success that in 1933 it became a Hollywood produced film starring Janet Gaynor, Warner Baxter and Walter Connolly. The heroine of the story is Paddy Adair, the daughter of an impoverished Irish landowner near Carlingford. Her father, General Adair, had hoped she would be a boy, but is delighted by the high-spirited Paddy who dubs herself as “the next best thing” to a boy. Paddy falls in love with another landowner, who had once been involved with her elder sister.