Ballyteige was originally built in 1900, as shooting lodge and country retreat, for the eminent Dublin surgeon, John McArdle.
As well as a successful surgeon, McArdle was a socialite, and fervent supporter of Irish Home Rule. An ornate lamppost in the grounds, a retirement gift from St. Vincents Hospital, bears witness to his medical position and talent. Records show that parties of guests were brought to Ballyteige by private train from Dublin to Aughrim. Irish Volunteers drilled in the grounds at Ballyteige after the Howth Gun Running.
James Joyce even took care to mention McArdle’s riding style in Ulysses as ‘Bolt upright’ :
Look at the woebegone walk of him. Eaten a bad egg. Poached eyes on ghost. I have a pain. Great man’s brother: his brother’s brother. He’d look nice on the city charger.
Drop into the D.B.C. probably for his coffee, play chess there. His brother used men as pawns. Let them all go to pot. Afraid to pass a remark on him. Freeze them up with that eye of his.
That’s the fascination: the name. All a bit touched. Mad Fanny and his other sister Mrs Dickinson driving about with scarlet harness. Bolt upright lik surgeon M’Ardle.