Home Rule Club on John's Quay
Kilkenny councillors have agreed to add 18 local structures to the Record of Protected Structures, but went against the recommendation of the conservation officer on nine others — largely due to property owners’ concerns.
At the February meeting of Kilkenny County Council, architectural conservation officer Francis Coady recommended 27 structures be added to the Record of Protected Structures.
He told members that the formal process for proposed amendments to the Record began in October 2017. It involved formal notification of proposed additions and deletions to the relevant property owners, and putting proposals on public display. This was followed by a six-week period allowing people to submit support, objections and observations.
Mr Coady said the council had received 11 submissions, some of which were in favour, while others objected.
A number of councillors expressed unfamiliarity with some of the structures, and as a result, uncertainty with whether they should be added. Others revealed they had been contacted by the property owners in some cases, who had asked them not to add the buildings to the list out of concern this would affect their potential resale value or capacity to carry out works.
Mr Coady said they had looked for a geographical spread and on different types of buildings. They ranged from 18th Century to 20th Century, including thatched houses, former education facilities, farmhouses, townhouses and gates, walls and railings.
Mr Coady said it was not just about the date of a building, but it also took into account other characteristics such as social, cultural and artistic value.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan said he was really interested to see the diversity of the buildings being recommended.
“It is painstaking work to bring these buildings to our attention for protection,” he said.
The Green Party councillor said there was a fear among some owners that this made their properties a potential liability, but they were in fact assets.
Cllr Eamon Aylward said there were a number of buildings on the current Record which shouldn’t be on it. He asked if there was a way to remove them. Mr Coady said they could be considered and looked at.
Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh asked that one building on John’s Quay be deferred. Director of services Sean McKeown said that on each structure, a decision had to be made whether to include it or not on the Record of Protected Structures.
Cllr Cavanagh then said she was asking that it not be included.
Councillors then voted on each of the 27 proposals. Several of them were proposed by Cllr Noonan, although in some cases he did not find someone to second.
Cllr Michael Doyle said he had received a submission from two owners, and he would have a difficulty voting on something where he hadn’t spoken to the owners.
CEO Colette Byrne said Mr Coady had spoken to all but one of the relevant owners, of a property in Freshford. Cllr Michael McCarthy said this owner resides in the UK, and is currently in the process of seeking a development at the side of the building.
“I think this is the last thing they would want, so I would have a problem with supporting that,” he said.
The structures councillors agreed to add, and those they didn’t
l A 19th Century cut stone limestone piers and original iron gate, originally part of the Kilkenny City jail, on Kickham Street.
l The 19th Century old schoolhouse in Smithstown, ‘Comer.
l Old schoolmaster’s house in Smithstown, Castlecomer (19th Century).
l The Thatch, Baurnafea in Castlewarren (19th Century.
l An 18th Century thatched cottage of local material of mud, thatch and stone at Whitehouse, Kilkenny.
l A 19th Century gatehouse of Kilrush House, Freshford.
l A 19th Century gateway at Kilrush House, Freshford.
l Early 19th Century house on Main Street, Fiddown.
l A 19th Century water tank at Woodstock Gardens, Inistioge.
l The red brick cottage near Kilkenny College on Castlecomer Road.
l A semi-detached, two-bay, three-storey house on John’s Quay.
l No 5 John’s Quay — a semi-detached, two-bay, three-storey house.
l The Home Rule Club: Mid 18th Century building.
l The 19th Century limestone wall on John’s Quay.
l A late 20th Century chimney stack in Castlecomer. Mr Coady said it was of ‘technical interest’ — it had been part of the brick factory, and is also of social importance.
l The Mall, Thomastown — a 19th Century cottage.
l Dungarvan Glebe House, Dungarvan.
l The 18th Century gatehouse at Belline (the ‘inkbottle’).
Structures Not added
l No 4 John’s Quay — an early 19th Century townhouse.
l The Brigidine Convent in Paulstown (of architectural and social interest).
l A 19th Century bulding on Kilkenny Street, Freshford.
l No 2 John’s Quay — an imposing quayside, mid-18th Century building.
l Smithstown House, Castlecomer.
l A 19th Century Farmhouse, McCarthy’s Stud Farm in Dungarvan.
l Bramblestown House, Dungarvan. Bramblestown House is not on the NIAH, but Mr Coady said it was ‘quite an important building’.
l The 19th Century Sheestown House, Sheestown, Kilkenny. The owner did not make a submission on the house, however, Cllr David Fitzgerald said he had been contacted by the owner and he proposed not adding it.
l A 19th Century, 10 bay, two-storey barn at Sheestown House.