Dornish Island Photo by: Sherry FitzGerald Westport via myhome.ie

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Irish retirement island for sale for just $384,000


Dornish Island Photo by: Sherry FitzGerald Westport via myhome.ie

It's the island where John Lennon saw himself and Yoko Ono retiring to with a crazy scrapbook of memories, but nowadays Dorinish Island is home only to sheep and seagulls.

According to San Francisco Gate, the island the size of a dozen soccer fields off Ireland's west coast is being offered as a spiritual retreat to a potential new owner for the knockdown price of $384,000, 45 years after the Beatles legendary songwriter bought it.

Before he was shot by a deranged Mark Chapman in New York in 1980, Lennon revealed to friends his plan to build a home and retire to the island. But his death changed that and Ono eventually sold it to local farmers in 1984.

'About a year before he was murdered his London solicitor inquired about reviving the planning permission which he had obtained shortly after the purchase,' Michael Browne, 73, a local who took Lennon to visit Dorinish, told the Gate. 'He was constantly panning a cine-camera to get a panoramic of the bay.'

Located in scenic Clew Bay in County Mayo, the farmers are reportedly selling the 21-acre island because it’s getting harder for them to keep animals there as they get older. Browne said Lennon paid about $2,700 for the island in 1967.

But the Beatles connection isn't helping with the sale. Dorinish, known locally as Beatle Island, has been on the market since mid-July and so far they haven't found a buyer.

Lennon originally bought Dorinish, which is made up of two small islands joined by a stone causeway, from the local Westport Harbor Board through an intermediary to avoid publicity, Browne revealed.

According to the Gate, Browne’s father was the auctioneer responsible for the sale of the island and it was his advertisement in a London newspaper that caught Lennon's eye.

'After about a year, he sent over a gypsy type caravan to be put out on the island,' said Browne. 'The caravan was painted in psychedelic patterns like the Sergeant Pepper album cover, so people eventually worked out that John Lennon was involved.'

Lennon and Ono visited the island in 1968, according to pictures still on display at Mulranny Park Hotel. He was asked in an interview published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971 if he had a picture of the famous pair's life when he hit 64.

'I hope we’re a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland or something like that - looking out at our scrapbook of madness,' Lennon said.


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