With its airy feel and simple vintage furnishings, the apartment overlooking Market Square has been welcoming tourists, mainly from the UK, for the past three years. The two-bedroom apartment which was once home to generations of shopkeepers, is let out for about 20 weeks in the year.
And now the ground floor, a former shop and pub, has been converted into another holiday apartment, complete with snug. There was a burst of excitement in when the Dubliners played a session in the back room of the pub, but five years later the bar closed, never to reopen. The building returned from commercial to residential use, and was lived in for the next 20 years.
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It was then acquired by the Gleesons and lay empty until when Paul took it on. The house was leased to a local milling merchant, Bartholomew Glynn , according to an elaborate legal document that survives.
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The Glynns, who were big employers in the town, held on to the building for more than years, letting it out to two consecutive families. The second family were the Ryans whose daughter, Katherine Ryan , was an opera singer who on her return home from singing engagements in London would preform to all in the Market Square from the first-floor drawing room window. The building was modernised in the late s and the ground floor was turned into a traditional shop and bar. In the mid 20th century the house passed through a number of other families including the McDermotts, whose son is the retired international golfer Joseph McDermott.
Gleeson restored the house in two stages, first tackling the upper floors, which he completed in The second stage, involving the original ground floor shop, began in late and has just been completed. The original shop fittings were recreated and period features restored where possible.
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People loved it. It looks the same now as it did then, and that is a great joy to me. The ground floor shop, with its Victorian ad for Cocoa over the front door, now has a long fitted kitchen behind the shop counter, while the original snug in the window is screened from passers-by with opaque glass. The bedrooms are furnished with mahogany beds and chests of draws, and gilt-framed prints of far away places. The parquet flooring that runs through some of the rooms is salvaged from a school in Glasgow , and there are pieces of midth-century furniture and and s Irish pottery.
Buildings like these, he says are unlikely to return to retail use. But as a home it is unique.
It would be great to see more premises converted. It might persuade people to move back into town centres. A "broken" mental health system where patients can wait years for counselling failed many people who have taken their own lives, a man said Thursday. Ollie Spellissy hit rock bottom when his marriage collapsed and he overdosed which led to him spending six weeks in a coma.
About four months would be your average waiting time. Now living in Kilrush, he spent seven months in an acute psychiatric unit in Cork before moving back to Clare in where he saw a doctor every six months.
If there were more services for outpatients as there are for inpatients a lot of people would still be with us. Meanwhile, campaigners Gary Fitzgibbon and Maria Ryan, whose late brother Tommy suffered from mental health issues and drug addiction, have organised a protest over the state of the acute unit in Ennis Hospital on tomorrow at noon. There are only three public beds in all of Ireland.
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