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February 24, 2010

1m scheme to restore farm buildings

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Traditional Irish farm buildings are to be rescued from demolition by a new EU-funded grant scheme. The Heritage Council, which has expressed concern many buildings are “being lost through neglect”, is to administer the scheme and provide cash to owners of the endangered buildings to enable conservation.

Anna Meenan, the project manager, said “distinctively Irish” old farm buildings are “what make our countryside so interesting and distinguish it from the rest of Europe”. She said that since Ireland had joined the EU, farmers had adopted a “tidy farmyard policy”, which resulted in many outbuildings being demolished and replaced by modern buildings.

The council wants to conserve this aspect of the “vernacular” architectural heritage because the buildings provide an invaluable insight into “how our ancestors farmed and lived, thought and built”. Ms Meenan said many of the beautiful, mainly stone, buildings were “made of local materials selected by farmers themselves and can never be replicated”

The Irish Times

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