Bid to convert former Waterford barracks to tourist let

Protected three-storey structure situated on half-acre site
Bid to convert former Waterford barracks to tourist let

The striking structure in Ballyduff, Co Waterford.

A planning application has been lodged with Waterford Council to convert a striking former RIC barracks in the west of the county into a short-stay guest house facility.

The plans, by Dublin-registered Arkle ULC, feature a three-storey 19th century structure situated on a half-acre site at Ballyduff Upper, some 10 km from Lismore and in close proximity to Ballyduff village.

The protected structure, with two distinctive square turrets at opposite corners, offers a spectacular view of the River Blackwater from elevated terrain.

Built in 1869, it followed a Scottish Baronial style designed by Jacob Brothers on behalf of the Board of Public Works and was intended to accommodate six men, including a head constable.

The site guards the southern approach to a bridge from the river's south bank and the turrets have openings, or machicolations, to facilitate several defensive handgun loops.

The building was vacated in 1921 and during the subsequent War of Independence was severely burnt out before being rebuilt in 1926 to serve as a Garda station until its closure in 2013.

Since then, it was maintained by the OPW before being purchased privately at auction for €253,000 earlier this year.

The views are spectacular.
The views are spectacular.

Development plans

Presently the property houses an entrance hall, reception rooms, three large rooms, bathroom, kitchen, and storage spaces.

The development will consist of internal refurbishment to provide six-bedroom, short-stay holiday accommodation, plus associated ancillary living space, servicing and guest facilities.

A facing courtyard to the rear of the property includes a single-storey outbuilding, which will be demolished and replaced with a larger single-storey extension for occasional community use and for hosting events.

This extension will link to the main building by way of a proposed glazed link.

The plans further include the repointing and repair of external stonework and walls, and refurbishment of the roof, chimneys and windows, landscaping, and pathway.

The wider area, within 35 minutes' drive from Dungarvan and 20 minutes from Fermoy, is surrounded by woodland and riverside walks, Gothic-style buildings, and picnic areas.

Waterford Council is expected to deliver its decision by January 11 next.

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