Lighthouse keeper’s renovation in Cork

Few people get to wave at the fishermen passing by when they’re out in their garden, but Saoirse Fitzgerald does from her Co Cork home – the dwelling the lighthouse keeper used to live in.

In this article, Saoirse talks about:

  • Transforming the house from a cold and damp building to a light filled home
  • Working with a conservation architect on the lighthouse keeper’s renovation
  • Planning permission process and meeting the local authority’s conservation officer
  • Design considerations, details of demolition, and converting the coal shed
  • How she project managed the project and her tips for going direct labour
  • Timber preservation and damp proofing methods
  • Details of the specialist marine grade paint for the external walls
  • Window and door upgrades
  • Heating, plumbing, electrics and ventilation upgrades
  • The story behind the Youghal lighthouse keeper’s dwelling
  • Appearing on RTÉ’s Home of the Year 2020


Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email

Concrete interiors for new Co Cork home

Built out of lengths of timber