What is the working party?
Each year SPAB Ireland puts its advice and expertise into practice at the annual summer working party, by carrying out work to a specific building. It gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our approach to the conservation and care of old buildings. An increasingly popular event, it offers the chance for volunteers, ranging from informed amateurs interested in buildings and history to heritage and architectural professionals, to work alongside some of the country’s best craftspeople.
Our working parties are a chance for participants to combine well-proven SPAB principles with practical repair techniques. For this working party, we welcome applications from anyone with some practical conservation experience- from students with an interest in buildings and history, to heritage and architectural professionals. The SPAB Ireland working party is a way to bring a diverse range of people together to share knowledge and to boost the skills which are required when working with historic vernacular buildings such as this.
When will the working party take place?
This year's Working Party will take place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August 2022. Volunteers choosing to camp on site will be allowed to arrive from 6pm on Thursday 18th August.
Where will the working party take place?
This year, a SPAB Ireland Working Party will take place at Macreary, Co. Tipperary. The group of structures consist of a historic farmhouse and series of associated outbuildings and boundary walls, on a small farm holding in south-east Tipperary, which most likely has its origins in the late 18th century. It is not a Protected Structure but it is of particular vernacular interest. The holding has stood vacant for a significant period of time and now under new ownership it is in need of significant intervention to prevent further deterioration and loss of the remaining structures.
The working party will provide a unique opportunity for building professionals, craftspeople, general builders, students, homeowners, and experienced enthusiasts alike to learn more about traditional conservation building skills through hands-on experience.
Scope of Work
Thursday 18th August - Late afternoon / evening arrival: Volunteers who propose to camp over the weekend are welcome to arrive from 6pm and set up camp in the designated campsite adjacent to the site at Macreary. Tables will be reserved for dinner at a local pub (dinner at attendees own expense).
Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August - Introductory morning session including site history, SPAB philosophy of repair, health & safety, and introduction to the proposed works. Workshops on site including lime mixing, structural repairs to a historic masonry wall, soft capping, and sketching workshops. Demonstrations from a series of craftspeople will be held throughout the weekend, including roof repairs, joinery repairs and others.
Sunday 21st August - Workshops will include relevant aftercare for the works undertaken across the weekend. We will have our final tidy up and departure.
Who can take part?
As always, the working party will provide a unique opportunity for building professionals, craftspeople, general builders, students, homeowners, and enthusiasts alike to learn traditional conservation building skills through hands-on experience.
Applications are now open and the deadline is 5pm on Wednesday 10 August 2022.
The fee for attendance is €80 for SPAB members and €90 for non-members.
Note: Bookings through this page are available in Pounds only. The fee of €80/€90 converts to approximately £67/£75.
This year, the SPAB is delighted to offer a number of bursary places at the working party. These bursary places will cover the attendance fee, and include a a subsistence and travel allowance of up to €200.
You can apply for a bursary place submitting this form. If you have any questions before you apply, or would prefer to apply in another format, please email us at: email@example.com, marking your message “SPAB Ireland Working Party Bursary”.
Anyone can apply for a bursary, but priority will be given to students, people who are unemployed or those needing financial assistance to support their attendance at the Working Party.
The SPAB is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity in the sector. We particularly welcome applications by people from backgrounds underrepresented in building conservation.
This project is supported by the Heritage Council under the Heritage Capacity Funding 2022
Evening activities are being organised for both Friday and Saturday evening. These will include guided tours of local heritage sites, followed by a group dinner in a local venue. There will be a small additional fee for attending these evening activities, which can be be paid by attendees at registration. Travel and evening meals are at the attendees own expense.
Breakfast will be provided for those choosing to camp on site. Tea and coffee breaks, as well as lunches on both Friday and Saturday are included in the ticket price. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking.
Dinner will be at each attendees' own expense.
Many people camp on-site to make the most of the social aspects of the working party. Camping is free but please bring your own tent, sleeping bag, and any other equipment. Showering facilties will be provided for campers at an off-site location.
There are various budget hotels nearby if you prefer to arrange your own accommodation - please note that they are not within easy walking distance of the site though so best for those with their own transport.
We are committed to keeping the Working Party running as safely as possible. Hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser will be available throughout the site, and most activities will be taking place outside. We advise participants who have coronavirus symptoms and/or test positive for Covid 19 to stay at home and avoid contact with others for five days, in line with latest government guidance: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/
Please help us keep everyone safe by acting in a sensible way.
Measures may change depending on government guidelines. If the situation changes, we may need to cancel the event or restrict numbers at short notice. We'll keep all participants informed and, if we do need to cancel your place, you will receive a refund for any contribution you have made to SPAB Ireland towards the cost of the event.
Please read our Booking Terms & Conditions for more information about cancellations and refunds.
If you would like to get in touch with the organisers please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessibility: please let us know via the application form if there are any adaptations we can make that would make the Working Party more accessible for you. We would be happy to have an informal chat about the event and possible access issues before you apply.
Booking Terms & Conditions
Accessibility: please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.