Wild Atlantic Women: Kela Hodgins

Proof positive that COASTAL LIVING enhances wellbeing and STIMULATES CREATIVITY, twelve women at work along the Wild Atlantic Way share their local secrets with Penny McCormick. This week we speak to KELA HODGINS

 

“Last year, the 1960s icon Marsha Hunt turned up unexpectedly at the door. She had stayed with Noel Redding, [bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience], when she was writing her first memoir about her life as an actress, model and former girlfriend of Mick Jagger and Mark Bolan. She had been visiting West Cork and just wanted to see how the house had changed from Noel’s time.” All in a day’s work for Kela Hodgins, the owner of Dunowen House, which has impressive rock ‘n’ roll credentials and multi-tasks as a family home and thriving boutique hotel. Noel Redding, the former owner, lived in the house for 30 years and Nik Kershaw also lived there for some time. These were secondary considerations when Hodgins was looking for a property to turn into a good quality holiday business four years ago. “We knew we wanted a coastal location which could have been anywhere. Nothing was quite right until we chanced upon Dunowen [House in West Cork].” Selling their home in Blackrock, Co Dublin, the family were in residence in little over eight weeks. Hodgins has embraced this project and mid-life change and has used the memorabilia she discovered in the old barn as decoration, including vintage Rolling Stone magazines, concert posters, amplifiers and music cases. Fortunately Hodgins and her husband are both fans and have had several “pinch me” moments – they discovered Redding had died in the house and his ashes are interred in the garden, with his former partner’s, the artist Carol Appleby. “I do think his spirit lives on here.” As for the family move, Hodgins had no regrets leaving behind city life. “We are having a really exciting adventure – it’s like we’ve been given the chance of a second life. Until we moved here, I never appreciated the seasons, the darkness of the night sky, or the passing of time so clearly. We can see the changes in the garden, the fields, the ocean …”

www.dunowenhouse.ie

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