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The Disappearing Irish Cottage : A Case Study of North Donegal

The Disappearing Irish Cottage : A Case Study of North Donegal

Clive Symmons & Seamus Harkin

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The subject matter of this study (updated from the 2004 edition with new data and photographs)— the fate of vernacular Irish cottages — although essentially regional in emphasis (North Donegal) — is, in the authors’ opinion, a matter of national concern, if not scandal. Large numbers of these former ‘jewels’ of the Irish countryside are disappearing yearly; so that now few exist even as ruins. Sadly, in some cases misguided planning policies of local authorities and past lack of any conservation provisions has hastened their demise, particularly with the controversial advent of ‘bungalow’ bliss’ and one-off building in the Irish countryside, which is in effect, the other side of the coin.

In an ideal world, this profusely illustrated study should have been published initially in the 1980s to record what in such a short time has now been lost for ever. For it is unlikely that the time-consuming structural methods of the past — and the mining and preparation of local materials such as flags and slates — will ever come about again; so that, for example, a slate roof deliberately removed or collapsed from neglect is a roof most likely gone for ever. The Irish countryside is undoubtedly the worse for this process; and in time, if not already, it will in the authors’ view impact adversely on the tourist industry — the “Irish cottage” featuring in the famous John Hinde photographs now being very hard to find in the rural parts of Ireland. It is, therefore, the aim of this small study to tell, with photographic evidence, a tale which could be replicated in any part of the Atlantic fringe of Ireland, recording before it is finally lost what little remains of this important part of Irish tradition.

Hopefully in so doing it may prick the consciences of officialdom and others to act to save this vital part of Irish heritage. The success of the 1st edition and the interest generated has led the authors and publishers to commit to a second edition

Additional Information

Author Clive Symmons & Seamus Harkin
Publisher Wordwell
Publication date 24 May 2013
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781905569663

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