The thatched cottage at No 9 Henry Street is falling into ruin and local residents are demanding that the Galway City Council take action to preserve it.
No 9 is a protected structure dating from the late 18th/early 19th century. It is thought to represent the kind of house which many working-class residents of the area lived in at that time. Many Galwegians will also fondly remember the house as Lydon’s shop, where Mrs Lydon sold milk and penny sweets.
The West Residents’ Association and An Taisce have contacted the Galway City Council about the house. The heritage officer Jim Higgins, has written to Tom Connell, the council’s director of services for economic planning, community and culture, and to John Kennedy, city enforcement officer, asking that a warning letter be sent to the owners that legal proceedings will be initiated if the house is not properly restored.
Under existing legislation the owner of the house could be compelled by the council to carry out necessary repairs. Alternatively the council could carry out the works and charge the owner for them. However nothing has yet been done.
“People in the area are watching as the thatch deteriorates; first one and now another window have been broken,” a spokesperson for the West Residents’ Association told the Galway Advertiser. “However, there is no sign of anyone so much as replacing the broken glass. For many who live in the West, Lydon’s shop is not so much a relic of scholarly or tourist interest, it is a link with a living past.”