‘Raise the Roof’ Project Launched
Waterford Civic Trust has launched Phase One of the ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising drive for Blackfriars in the centre of Waterford City. The Trust hopes that with the help of the Waterford public the roof can be replaced on this historic structure with a view to eventually turning it into a functioning building or civic space. (Blackfriars is the ruin at the top of Conduit Lane, behind the new Penny’s building and opposite the entrance to City Square.)
Pádraig Ó Gríofa, Chairman of Waterford Civic Trust said, “Some might think we are crazy to launch a fundraising drive in the middle of a recession but we believe that with the help of everyone we can achieve our target. This is a really good time for any construction work as the rates are very competitive and let’s not forget that we are also supporting local employment as we’ll be using local firms and sourcing all materials locally. You can’t always wait for the authorities to act and sometimes there is even greater pride and satisfaction in the overall achievement if we do it ourselves.”
Waterford Civic Trust aims to raise €50,000 to complete the first phase of the project. They are asking the public to buy symbolic materials that will eventually go into the building. Box of Nails €2, Slate €5 a supporting beam is €20, Rafter €50 and so on. Waterford Civic Trust Board Member, author and respected local historian Bill Irish and Andy Kelly kicked off the fund with a donation presented to the Chairman at a function on Thursday last.
The remains of the medieval Dominican Friary called Blackfriars have been in the possession of Waterford City Council since 1577. The nave, although still unroofed has been partially restored by Waterford City Council. The historic access from Blackfriar’s Lane to the west front of the building, which had been closed off and had passed into private hands, has been acquired by the council and re-opened. The Waterford Civic Trust hopes to re-roof the tower to complement the work done by the City Council and to create an addition to the attractions of the historic Viking Triangle area of Waterford City.