Irish castles being left to rot due to finance crisis
Have you ever wanted to escape to an ancient Irish tower, with no traffic or work or kids? And nothing around for miles but beautiful green landscapes and endless Irish coastline?
Well time could be running out for tourists wanting to take a break from the everyday grind, and disappear for a few days into an historical Irish castle.
The Landmark Trust have hit financial difficulties which means several ancient Irish buildings could be left to crumble. The Trust has been renovating smaller buildings for more than 30 years. They revive them back to their former glory by restoring the outside structure, and adding modern fixtures and fittings inside. The result is a dream home which is used as a hotel for visitors to Ireland by the Trust.
They now own 25 Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts in both the North and the South of Ireland. Thousands of tourists, and locals alike, have enjoyed getaways in the idyllic homes.
However, that is now under threat by a lack of resources. The Landmark Trust have always been heavily reliant on grants and funding from numerous official bodies. Several have been forced to pull the plug in response to the economic downturn.
The Trust is facing a financial crisis, as the income from their properties is barely enough to keep them open. No new restoration projects can be taken on, and several have had to be abandoned halfway through, meaning more money has gone too waste. Goggin Cottage, a quaint 19th century home in Limerick is one such project that fell victim to the cuts.
Diana Molohan of the Landmark Trust said: “We started Goggin Cottage five years ago, and we managed to get it re-thatched and re-rendered, but because in the last four years all our grant aid has been stripped, we’ve had to walk off site.
“We’ve put around €140,000 into this building, and that’s going down the tube. Historically, our grant funding would have made up 60-70 per cent of the total cost of the conservation projects.
She warned that if the current trends continue then the Trust will be forced to continue to turn down new restoration projects, and more of Ireland’s historical buildings will be destroyed beyond repair. She added: “With 25 old, hungry buildings that need a lot of love, care and attention, it doesn’t leave a whole lot in the pot for new buildings. The other side of the story is that if people don’t come and stay in them, they might not be there for much longer.”
To make a donation or book a trip with the Landmark Trust visit www.irishlandmark.com