Public help sought on traditional shop fronts

By Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

By Eamonn McFadden

Email:

eamonn.mcfadden@donegaldemocrat.com

Public help sought on traditional shop fronts

A traditional shopfront in Ramelton.

The public are being asked to participate in helping to identify good examples of traditional shopfronts and vernacular signage in their town, village or rural areas from around Donegal.

The County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council in partnership with The Heritage Council has commissioned the preparation of guidance for the conservation of traditional shopfronts and vernacular signage in County Donegal. 

Architect, lecturer and broadcaster Orla Murphy has been commissioned to undertake this work and would like to hear about good examples of traditional shopfronts and signage in your town, village or rural area.

“Traditional shopfronts lend character to the streetscapes of our towns and villages” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer. 

“Traditional shopfronts are one of the key defining characteristics of the Irish street and convey the relationship between landscape, people and place. Shopfronts, both individually and collectively, have a major impact on the overall character, quality and attractiveness of place. The purpose of the guidance document will be to draw upon best conservation practice and encourage appropriate, sensitive and informed interventions in relation to our traditional shopfronts, vernacular signage and historical streetscapes.”

The shopfronts that are the subject of the study may be family-owned businesses that have been handed down from one generation to the next, they may be vacant business premises that still display distinctive architectural features or signage, they may be the combined shop and house at the crossroads that still bears the name of the former business or they may be more recent shopfronts that complement their historical streetscape. 

Irish language signage in Gaeltacht areas of the county are also of particular interest. 

If you have any suggestions of good examples of traditional shopfronts or vernacular signage in County Donegal, please send information to the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council, with location details and photograph if possible, to heritage@donegalcoco.ie or telephone (074) 917 2576. You can also find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Donegal-Shopfronts- 129269530866895/