A fundraising campaign is underway to save a more than 300-year-old thatched cottage that has been home to pensioner siblings in Magilligan.
Edward and Eileen Quigley are both in their seventies. Their nephew, Mark Canning, says the roof of the cottage collapsed into the bedrooms in 2014 after a bad winter storm.
Volunteers came together to help Edward and Eileen who continue to live in the cottage. He says a plastic cover guards the roof as the conditions underneath deteriorate. The group, including Mark, has been lobbying since then in a bid to secure emergency funding from the Department of Environment to help undertake urgent repair works to the listed building
Mr Canning said: “However, due to the suspension of Built Heritage grants by the Department they were unsuccessful. In September 2016 the NI Executive announced the Built Heritage Fund would re-open, but funds were limited.”
He said they believe government will award £50,000 in grant assistance towards the project, which isn’t enough for the works to proceed.
“These funds in total will be used to thatch the roof, replace and treat damaged roof timbers and rebuild the back wall which is near a state of collapse,” he said.
Mr Canning said in 2015 the cottage was “added to the Built Heritage at Risk register for Northern Ireland in critical state”.
“It is the only property on the register that is fully occupied. The family have tried to appeal the case, and have the listing lifted so an affordable slated roof could be installed on the property,” he said, adding they’re still unable to secure vital funds. “These funds cannot be sourced elsewhere,” he said.
“We appeal to the community and require your donations to help us save this truly unique piece of built heritage and to save the home of two old age pensioners who continue to reside in a cottage, where they have lived all their lives.”
More online at ‘Save Seacoast Cottage’.