What a sad scene below. Photographed here only a few short months ago, this pair of remarkable survivors in Dundalk has just been mauled.
Perfectly encapsulating the hierarchy in 19th century window manufacture, it is likely these houses were built by a small-scale developer, with the right-hand house his own home with expensive sheet glass sashes, and the left-hand house rented out or sold off with more frugal old-style Georgian sashes.
All on a diminutive scale and as good as perfectly preserved. Rare pristine Irish vernacular.
My stomach rolled upon observing - I still feel sick just seeing the pictures.
The fact this is an Architectural Conservation Area makes it all the more frustrating. ACAs mean absolutely nothing in Ireland because there is zero awareness amongst property owners and tenants of their obligations. In any event, there is almost zero pride amongst communities of the appearance of their streets and terraces, with none of that civic-minded, if stuffy, Protestant ethic that brought so much of the smart terraces surrounding the above houses into being in the first place, and maintained them for so long, as with so much of our built heritage.
I'm so tired of this sort of rubbish, there's just no point in highlighting it anymore. Dundalk as with every other town in Ireland is simply swimming in a sea of plastic and ignorant ill-informed alterations, with zero guidance from under-resourced local authorities. Protected Structure and ACA status means absolutely nothing - indeed if anything, these buildings are more vunerable than most, as they tend to be located in highly commercialised or heavily developed, desirable locations.
There is almost no concept in this country of promoting a quality heritage product for either visitors or citizens, let alone doing so purely on the merits of the aesthetic of these buildings alone. This was starkly highlighted at a recent bells-n-whistles international conference held by Bord FÃ¡ilte in Dublin, where one of the invited guests stood up on stage and asked how many reps from local authorities or planners were in attendance, out of the hundreds in the hall. Not a single person put up their hand. Just let Bob the Builder & Friends get on with their work.