Harty's Cottage as it s today.
Harty's Cottage as it was five years ago
Just five years after it underwent an expensive restoration funded by the Council, the fate of Harty’s Cottage at Crushrod Avenue, one of only two thatched cottages remaining in Drogheda, hangs in the balance once again.
The story of Harty's Cottage is a long and sorry tale. After many years of campaigning, principally by former Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell, the cottage underwent a major restoration funded by Louth County Council which transformed the exterior of the cottage at least to its former glory.
That work was completed in March 2018 but now, just five years later, the cottage, which has been more or less ignored by its owners ever since, s once again in a dire condition with the roof breached and rainwater leaking into the interior of the building.
Independent Councillor Kevin Callan has once again raised the issue of serious deterioration in the structure of Harty's Cottage. He has raised the issue after a tarpaulin covering the thatched roof has come off allowing a great deal of rainwater to access the structure.
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Councillor Callan says that Louth County Council will need to act quickly to require the owners of the property to replace the cover on the building.
"This deterioration is clear and concerning” Callan said. “A third of the structure that was covered is now open to the elements.
“The thatch and mud walls are now saturated and the protective covering is wrapped around one of the two chimneys which are attached to internal walls. The risk here is that the chimney may come down in strong wind".
The cottage is only one of two still standing in the town and the Thatch Pub on the Donore Road has been saved despite arson attacks in recent years.
"I am asking Louth County Council to use its powers to compel action by those in control of the structure. We cannot simply allow it to collapse.
“Like the old Grammar School in Laurence's Street, we must act to prevent the destruction of the property which is at risk due to being exposed to bad and wet weather".