The Charles Sheils Houses in Killough have been providing charitable housing for the last 150 years. The Grade BI listed houses comprise a well laid out series of terraced houses, dating back to 1868. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, the future of this historic set of alms houses looked very uncertain. Due to many years of neglect and disrepair through lack of funding for ongoing maintenance, a third of the houses were in such a derelict and dilapidated state that they were added to the Heritage at Risk register in 2014.
The phased restoration work commenced in 2013, overseen by McCollum Conservation working in association with Donaldson Associates and on site works undertaken by Joseph McClune & Sons. The five year restoration project has allowed the Charity to offer houses fit for purpose in the 21st century, while retaining the architectural quality and built heritage significance for the community at large. McCollum Conservation were delighted to join the Charles Sheils Charity at the celebration of their 150th anniversary in June 2018 at the houses in Killough.
It is commendable that the Charity has remained dedicated to Charles Sheils vision for an ecumenical charity for those in need of housing which has endured the many political, social and religious upheavals of Ireland’s history. The restoration of these houses has helped to ensure that Charles’ vision of helping those in need will continue for at least another 150 years.