A Canadian woman who emigrated to Ireland in 2020 to realize her dream of owning a thatched cottage in her mother's ancestral homeland has launched a GoFundMe to help complete the restoration project. 

Thea Trussler, whose mother is from Co Cork, bought a thatched cottage outside Youghal in January 2020 and moved to Ireland the following July during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The cottage was in need of signficant restoration work when Trussler bought it, but the onset of the pandemic meant that she had to undertake much of the interior work by herself. 

"I had to tear up the flooring and reconstruct the bathroom," Trussler told IrishCentral. "Thank God for YouTube.

"I did end up with a few injuries, I blew my knee out, I broke my hand, I had a concussion,  just from trying to do too much on my own." 

An adjacent acreage that hadn't been cared for in decades, resulting in "20-foot-high nettles," also had to be dealt with, while the exterior of the cottage had to be repainted. 

However, as the work was outdoors, many members of the local community were happy to lend a hand wherever they could. 

"I had some offers of help, even though they weren't technically supposed to during Covid," Trussler said. "It's a very welcoming community." 

With much of the interior and exterior accounted for, Trussler set her sights on repairing the cottage's thatched roof, which is in desperate need of repair. 

Having run out of funds for the renovation project and facing estimated costs of over €17,000 to repair the roof, Trussler approached Cork County Council to obtain a grant. 

However, she said grants for thatched cottages have not changed since the 1980s, meaning she received €3,600 from the Council, leaving her well short of her target. 

Trussler owns the cottage and attempted to remortgage the property to raise funds but has not yet obtained Irish citizenship and so was unable to obtain a mortgage. 

With no alternatives, Trussler has turned to the Irish and Irish ex-pat communities in her efforts to save the traditional thatched cottage. 

"My roof will not last," Trussler said. "I'd hate to ever sell or change the roof to slate because my whole intention was to preserve one of these iconic buildings.

"I don't want to see this beautiful place become another lovely cottage, but not a thatched cottage.

"This is my dream. I love it." 

Trussler has launched a GoFundMe to help raise funds for the thatched roof but said she wanted to offer something in return for larger donations. 

Donations of €5 or more will receive a public thank you, while donations of €200 or more will receive a day trip organized by Trussler and her partner. 

Meanwhile, donations topping €500 will receive a two-night stay at the cottage, along with tours of the surrounding area. 

Trussler said the tours will be tailored to individual groups and include tours of local megalithic sites, pub crawls, and visits to local horse racing meetings with a chance to meet owners and trainers. 

You can learn more about Thea Trussler's renovation efforts of her Co Cork thatched cottage on her GoFundMe page here.