Emerald Heritage, an organization created with the aim of protecting and enhancing the Irish landscape and heritage, is on a mission to save a small but highly significant piece of Irish history. 

Planning permission has been granted for the demolition of one of the last remaining pre-Famine houses in the Glens of Antrim in favor of new builds.

Founder and Director of Emerald Heritage, Lyn Nelson, is asking Irish at home and abroad for help in preserving the historical site for future generations.

“This house has significant Irish history attached to it, including it’s store room, used to build the famous Glens of Antrim road during 1840,” said Lyn.

“We intend to trace the family who lived there before and during the famine and name it after them. We want to do all we can to prevent this important part of Irish of heritage from being demolished. But we cannot do this on our own.”

Restored pre-famine house from the National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) - Courtesy of NMNI.

Emerald Heritage has created a way for individuals to help this cause

For as little as $50 (£29.95) you can own your very own piece of Ireland.  Legally binding, each Squireen (a 17th century Irish term for landowner) can visit the plot at any time and pass it on to future generations of their family.  

“Not only will each Squireen own a small souvenir plot (in Glens Wood, located within the picturesque Glens Of Antrim) but they will also have helped protect and preserve woodland that is disappearing before our very eyes.

“It might come as a surprise to many but Ireland now has only 1% of its native woodland left. Purchasing a plot will provide much-needed funds to allow Emerald Heritage to continue its work, including this project to save the pre-Famine house.

Recently restored pre-famine houses - Courtesy of NMNI. 

“We also plan to give all the landowners a say in what happens to the house. Would they like it to be restored to its former glory so they can see how their ancestors used to live? Or would they like it to become a museum or heritage centre?

More details can be found at www.emerald-heritage.com.   

*Originally published in April 2015.