My mother's family is lucky enough to have a thatch cottage in West Donegal. This cottage could be up to 200 years old and is in nearly pristine condition.
Not quite 'pristine'
Well, when I say 'pristine' - I mean it has had very few changes over the years. So although it remains an excellent example of vernacular architecture - the roof and interior have suffered somewhat from damp since its last occupant passed away.
That's why, now - with the assistance of An Chomhairle Oidhreachta - the thatch is being redone.
But not just any old thatch. No, no. Thatch in the original Donegal style using native flax.
A long time coming
It has taken the guts of 2 years to get this all organised and underway. We are particularly fortunate to have found an expert craftsman (and gentleman) in Ivor KilPatrick. He, his father and brother will be undertaking the repair of the roof over the next 3 weeks (weather permitting).
I would love to be there to see them at work, but alas West Donegal is quite a ways from Dublin.
The video attached to this posting shows the cottage as it currently appears (on a beautiful, warm, sunny day - not many of those in Donegal, mind!)
I shall upload another after the work has been done.