We, Tony and Marie O'Sullivan, are the owners of a thatch cottage in Ballinard, Ballynacourty. We note from your letter that you propose to list our cottage as a Protected Structure. We are not in agreement with this proposal. It is our intention to replace the thatch with a slate roof when the present thatch deteriorates further.
To date we have spent significant resources in rethatching the cottage 11 years ago. At that time we were promised funding from the Conservation Department of Waterford CC. This promise from the Conservation Department was a major factor in our decision to retimber and rethatch the roof that had partially collapsed at that time and was beyond repair. Shortly before the work was completed we received a phone call from the Conservation Officer advising us that we would not now be receiving funding as there were more deserving cases. We have since replaces the ridge and patched the roof where necessary at considerable expense.
There are additional burdens in owning a thatch cottage, insurance cost, compliance auditing by a registered electrician, procurement of suitable thatchers who are now rare and are extremely expensive. We have had no support from Waterford City and County Council.
Now the roof is in need of another tranche of significant resources to be spent on it to maintain it at an acceptable standard. We are now in our late 70s and so are not prepared to expend significant amounts of our resources in continuously maintaining the thatch without any assistance. We are simply solving the problem by replacing the roof with slate. However if Waterford City and County Council wish to have the thatched roof retained and are prepared to commit to funding the ongoing maintenance of the thatch roof we have no issue and we will reconsider our position.
Tony and Marie O'Sullivan