National Heritage week runs until Sunday with a wide range of events being held across the country. It is the aim of the Heritage Council to protect and enhance the richness, quality and diversity of our national heritage for everyone and this week the Heritage Council works to increase awareness of Ireland’s national heritage and to highlight its importance to public policy and everyday life.
In response to this Mr Willie Kelly, owner of Kiltullagh House which is currently in ruin, participates in Heritage Week on an annual basis by providing the public with an update in relation to works being carried out on site. It is his hope that some day his participation in Heritage Week will consist of a tour of the restored building.
The ruin has been awarded statutory protection because of its historical significance and is listed as a protected structure on the Galway County Council Development Plan and as a National Monument by the National Monument Services of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
The current owner, Mr Kelly who resides in the previously restored buildings on site has taken on the task of completing a programme of conservation work to consolidate the structure and prevent collapse enabling maximum retention of the historic fabric.
All works on site are being carried out in accordance with detailed methodology and specification drawn up by John Yates & Associates Architects. Since John Yate’s retirement supervision of works on site has been taken over by Síle Walsh of Plan A Architectural Design and Conservation. Initial conservation works are being undertaken in a phased basis with support funding being provided by conservation grants from Galway County Council. Such works include the clearance of ground debris and overgrowth under the supervision of archaelogist Ann Carey. Lateral restraint has been introduced in the form of scaffolding to mitigate against the collapse of high unsupported walls and chimneys, and decayed and missing timber lintels are being replaced.
To coincide with this consolidation work a detailed heritage management plan was drawn up last year funded by a grant from the Heritage Council. It was the aim of this plan to further investigate the historical background of the building in an attempt to source drawings, photographs or documents relating to the building, its builder, architect and owners. The plan also serves to identify the agreed scope of additional works required to conserve the ruin along with a programme for execution and monitoring of works.
This year the Heritage Council has provided a further small grant to assist with the next phase of consolidation works which are currently being carried out. This work consists of repointing and grouting of the front walls and repair and replacement of missing capping stones to prevent the grouting being washed away.