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The Gift Houses now for sale in Kinsale were built in 1682, over 333 years ago by Sir Robert Southwell to house the widows of tradespeople and craftsmen.
This act of charity was renewed between 1965 and 1970 when the almshouses were renovated with the help of local subscriptions and have housed many elderly people since.
Yes there are huge costs in terms of renovation and insurance if any group is formed to maintain and use the properties for its original purpose .
But we only have to look at the recently renovated Old Head of Kinsale Signal Tower which is now a magnificent viewing platform and home to the Lusitania Museum
This shows what a determined local West Cork group can achieve. Kinsale Museum endures through the help of wonderful volunteers. Also, thirty years ago a very small few saved the Temperance Hall in Kinsale and many wonderful gatherings and events have been held there since.
One question I have asked prior to writing is: “What would Peter Barry have done?”.
The answer is that there would have been nothing Peter would not have done to make sure this piece of Kinsale heritage is not abandoned and he would have put all his efforts towards preserving four centuries of generosity, kindness and care into the future.
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