The Friends of Woodlawn House Group

Progress Report 1   (Monday October 8th 2001)


For some months now, a small group of local people from around the Woodlawn area of east County Galway has been having meetings (often informal) for the purpose of trying to find ways of co-operating with anybody who might be interested in restoring Woodlawn House - which has a very long, and a very interesting history that is closely connected with the Lord Ashtown title (held by the Trench Family).

The local group has also been receiving much-valued help from a few individuals who live outside of the County Galway area. (The people in question already have experience in connection with the type of restoration work in question.)

Summary of events so far:


The owner of Woodlawn House (Mr. Michael Lally) has been told about the local group in a private conversation some months ago. He confirmed then that he did have plans to put the property up for sale within a short time (which he has since done). It was also mentioned to him at the time that a set of Internet page addresses had already been hurriedly booked - which MIGHT be of use to a potential buyer. (These www page addresses are listed further down this page, and there is a possibility that they would be given free of charge to any buyer who restores Woodlawn House.)


Following an article in connection with Retirement Villages which appeared on the front page of the Galway Advertiser Newspaper (September 6th 2001edition), one member of the local group contacted Dr.Bill Grealish; and, it seems that Dr.Grealish feels Woodlawn House might be suitable for his business purposes.


All members of the local group feel that Dr.Grealish would be an ideal person to develop Woodlawn House. It is thought that in addition to turning the property into a Retirement Village, he (and his associates) might also be able to add further buildings for the provision of other medical services on the grounds of the estate - which is thought to cover approximately 115 acres. Such services could include (for example) a facility for looking after people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. There are obvious implications for the local employment situation; and for attracting extra visitors into the area - which all existing local businesses could expect to benefit from.


The Heritage Council have also been contacted by a member of the local group; and it is understood that a provisional arrangement has been made for a lady from the Heritage Council to visit Woodlawn House on October 18th 2001 - with a view to helping out with a restoration plan.


It is thought that a large amount of money would be needed to restore Woodlawn House (probably several £millions); and, that this is likely to be seen as a big deterrent by potential buyers.


The group has received several reports which suggest that government grants are much more likely to be given to potential buyers for the restoration work if there are clear signs of local interest, local involvement, and local benefits.


As an aid to making progress, the local group is thinking about forming a registered company (with limited liabilities). This would be one of the kind referred to in the Companies Act of 1963.

Initially (at least), the main functions of the registered company would be:


To help any eventual buyer that might emerge to get the maximum benefit of the government grants which are understood to be available for heritage restoration work involving very historic buildings (such as Woodlawn House).


To help raise money for the project from public sources (if necessary).
The name of the company which has been decided on by the group is:

At the most recent of the group's formal meetings (held on Saturday October 6th 2001), it was decided that it might be best to keep the two functions outlined under a) and b) above separate from each other - through the use of two different registered companies. This is largely because of the differences in complexity between the two functions: and it is felt that if one company was used to try and carry out both of these functions at the same time, there is a major risk it might get completely bogged down.


It was further decided at the Saturday October 6th 2001 group meeting that the main things the group needs to be thinking about at present are:


Making arrangements for the Heritage Council visit which has been provisionally planned for October 18th 2001. It is understood that the lady in question has indicated that she would like to meet the local people who are interested in seeing Woodlawn House restored. There is also the very important matter of making the necessary arrangements (for the visit) with the owner of the property (Mr. Michael Lally).


More members: there is a strong feeling in the group that it should make a serious effort to try and attract more local members. Although a number of ideas were put forward and discussed, no clear plan emerged as to how this might best be done. All members were asked to give further thought to this important matter between now and the next formal meeting of the group.

It was decided at the Saturday October 6th 2001 meeting that the ONLY requirement for membership of the Friends of Woodlawn House group is this: a desire to see the property restored.

Internet pages addresses which have been booked for possible use: - for general profit-making activities (.com); - could be used for administration of organisation/s (.org); - could be used for network of contacts and associates (.net).

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Woodlawn House, Woodlawn, County Galway, Republic of Ireland.

Woodlawn House (October 8th 2001) Woodlawn House (October 8th 2001)

Both of the above photographs were taken on October 8th 2001.

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First placed on site: 
October 10th 2001
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October 11th 2001


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