By Stephen McKinley
Irish architecture is an aberration and an abomination, and “an amalgamation of the worst of nouveau American techniques and the best that Stalin built,” according to the editor of an Internet magazine targeted at Americans seeking to buy overseas property.
Kathleen Peddicord, who lives in Waterford, launched the attack in the latest edition of her weekly newsletter. She attacked the demand for “detached bungalows,” which she described as “square boxes with tiny rooms, tinier windows, and non-existent charm.”
Peddicord noted that “in the centuries before the last, the beautiful hills, valleys, and seacoasts of this country were adorned with charming thatched-roof cottages outlined with rose bushes and stately Georgian manor houses of exposed stone.”
Today, many of the finest old Irish buildings have been destroyed, she said, to make way for ugly, modern bungalows.
Peddicord continued: “It’s only we foreigners who seem to respect what the Irish farmers and their landlords built 200 and 300 years ago.”
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Her attack on Irish architecture was used to make the point that finding decent property in Ireland requires diligence and persistence.
In her own search for a house in the Waterford area, she met several realtors who refused to show her older houses.
“When we came to Waterford four years ago and began house-hunting, we worked with four local estate agents before we found one who would even show us old country properties,” she continued.
“Finally, we found an agent who understood we cared less about central heating and the existence of a dishwasher in the kitchen than we did the thickness of the stone walls and the number of fireplaces.”
Peddicord attributed the Irish fad for modern, featureless dwellings to the weather.
“To be fair,” she wrote, “centuries-old cottages and stone houses are both cold, drafty, and damp. And the Irish are tired, I guess, understandably, of battling their weather. Give them a well-insulated place with central heating.”
After finding a stone cottage that needed considerable renovation over three years, Peddicord is happy to say that “our little stone house in the Irish country is home.”
Peddicord then recommends two older properties in the southeast, which she said are worthy buys for any Americans considering a home in the Irish countryside.
For anyone interested in the properties, one is a cottage priced at “just about $475,000,” the other a Georgian four bedroom in Wexford, priced at $550,000.
Peddicord can be contacted through her web site at: www.internationalliving.com.