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GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme Farmer Focus – Bernard Bugler

GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme Farmer Focus – Bernard Bugler

Bernard Bugler is a GLAS 3 Participant from Co. Clare who availed of the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme for repairs to an old stone Building situated in the farmyard. The building was thought to be over 150 years old. Martina Enright, Teagasc Ennis Advisor has details of what was involved

Photo above: A view of the repaired building from the front

The history

The building is of stone construction with a slate roof. It was originally a two room building –one room as a dwelling and one as a cow byre.

Bernard’s grandparents lived in the building from 1925 to 1930.  Since 1930 the building had exclusively been used as a farm building, being extended with a lean to shelter at the lower end of the building.  A hay shed was added to the rear and more recently a slatted shed was added to the rear in the 1990’s.

Building Repairs Required

  • While the building was maintained over the years by Bernard’s grandfather and father, major works were needed particularly on the roof.
  • In 2020 slates came off and it was found that timber slats were rotten in parts and unable to support re-slating. A portion of the slate roof covering to the rear was replaced with a section of corrugated iron sheeting.
  • The ridge of the roof was dipping at the lower end. Decay with wet & dry rot on rafters and wallplate and ridge board visible in parts.
  • Water was beginning to come into the building at the gable ends, in particular around an old chimney
  • The ground around the building was built up, and therefore floors in the building were damp.

Given the family connection to the building and its location in the farmyard Bernard was anxious to repair if possible and preserve a bit of history.

Photo above: A view of the building from the front prior to repair work

Timeline of Bernard's Application

Bernard outlines his personal experience of the Scheme

In February 2021 – Bernard saw the scheme advertised on the Irish Farmers Journal.

On March 11th a virtual meeting was hosted by Anna Meenan of The Heritage Council where the process was outlined.

  • In 2021 all applications had to be submitted on-line. Approximately 80-90 projects would be supported in 2021 with 70% grant aid for approved works. Payment for own labour / family labour for the project if project is approved.
  • Detail of the scheme and timelines.  Examples of previous recipients for grant aid under the scheme.
  • Q&A session.
  • Works must be completed within the year of grant approval, i.e. by early November 2021
  • Only the minimum necessary work with minimal intervention will be grant aided – e.g. to stabilise/restore the building. Reuse as much of the materials as possible.  If limestone render was used in original construct then this method to be used again.  No felt allowed on re-roofing.
  • No professional input needed at application, but Conservation Consultant needed if project is approved.

On-line application deadline was 31/03/2021


Photo above: A view of the building from the back prior to repair work

Photo above: The roof inside prior to repair work

The main headings on the on-line application included - Project details, what is the building used for, Costings and pictures of the building subject to application.

End of April 2021:

  • Notification from Heritage Council notification of the “score” on their assessment of the project.
  • Need for Bernard to submit a conservation specification for the minimum necessary repairs.
  • Conservation Specification must be drawn up by consultant in architectural conservation. (Some guidance from Heritage Council of such experts operating in Co. Clare)
  • Submit costing to conservation specification

Deadline for submission was end of May 2021. Following submission of details as requested, grant offer was received on 4th June with deadline of acceptance by 25th June.

Work could not start until:

  1. Visit by officer from The Heritage Council to agree Conservation Specification
  2. Undertake bird and bat survey by experts (List provided by Heritage Council)

Bat Survey 

In July 2021 a Bat Survey revealed a bat roost in the external gable end of the Building. A derogation licence for needed to undertake the repair work.  This derogation licence from NPWS allowed work to commence after 1st

Work commenced in mid-September and there was also a visit and report by conservation consultant at interim stage to verify specification was adhered to.

The Work was completed in Early November 2021

Mid November – expecting a visit by Heritage Council in advance of any payment.


Photo above: A view of the repaired building from the back

Considerations for the restoration


  • Less than 40% of the roof slates were reusable. All old slate was used on the front of the building and the nearest match of slate was used on the rear of the building. Re-claimed original slates were found to be of various lengths (14”-22”) and widths (10”-16”).   Reusing these slates was very slow with care needed for situation of slate lats and overlaps for subsequent rows of slates
  • The underside of the slate in the cow house was parged with lime mortar in places only so it wasn’t a requirement to parge the underside of slates after re-slating

The old dwelling part of the building had tonged and grooved sheeting as a ceiling. Much of this had dry rot.  It was not a requirement to put in new boards as they were not necessary for the functioning of the building as a farm building.  However, a portion of this feature was retained as evidence of what the building was like 100 years ago.

Photo above: The roof inside after repair work

Bernard's experience of the scheme

Bernard is delighted  to have been involved in this scheme which helped him preserve a bit of history, as there was a real danger that if repair wasn’t undertaken, that the structure would be lost.  He worked with the skilled tradesman on a direct labour basis and learned a lot during the project and is happy with the end product. 

Bernard would like to acknowledge and thank the Heritage Council who administer the GLAS Traditional Farm Building Scheme and Department of Agriculture Food & the Marine who provide the Funding.

If you liked this article you might also like Glas Traditional Farm Buildings Articles

More on the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme can be found here.