The Cost of Looking After Protected Structures Mean that Many Are Neglected
Chartered building engineer Orlagh Cawley has raised serious concerns in the Irish Times following a commissioned report on rural Ireland, which has revealed the derelict state of many protected structures in our villages. The report concluded that the state’s historic structures fund should be ‘drastically increased’ to support owners who might have inherited property and are struggling to maintain these buildings.
Ms Cawley, an engineer and building surveyor with Ballina-based OMD Design said that heritage works cost approximately 1.75 times more than standard repair work on a building and argued that simply putting a protection order on a building does not ensure that it will be restored. She raised particular concern about smaller buildings in rural villages which were especially vulnerable.
‘I have no problem with buildings being protected. A lot of them deserve protection but if they continue to be neglected they won’t have much merit, ... where is the help for these people? A lot of them have inherited the buildings.’
She went on to say that improved funding ‘could provide badly needed accommodation while saving these buildings. And it would bring a bit of life back into villages in need of regeneration.’
The government have stated that €1.2 billion of funding will be accessible over the next 10 years under the Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 - 2027 programme.