28 May 2022

GoFundMe page set up to help Breezy restore cottage

Headquarters for the Over The Half Door and Bake Bread for Peace projects

GoFundMe page set up to help Breezy restore cottage

The charred remains of the cottage at Gortnasillagh, Glenties

The fate of the historic cottage outside Glenties now depends on the generosity of a response to a GoFundMe campaign that has been started.

The pre-Famine structure at Gortnasillagh was extensively damaged on Saturday of last week when its thatched roof caught fire.

The flames engulfed the structure quickly leaving a few charred walls standing and a brick chimney intact.

It was also the headquarters for the well-known local renowned author, storyteller, singer, and peace activist Breezy Kelly and her Over The Half Door and Bake Bread for Peace projects which attract people from all over the world to experience the old world of Ireland from long ago.

Breezy is still heartbroken and distraught since the place was engulfed in flames destroying all her precious personal memories, equipment, and irreplaceable items of cultural and historical interest that have taken a lifetime to gather.

Speaking this week Breezy said a friend, Alan McHugh had started a GoFundMe page to help her get the cottage restored.

"I really would appreciate any help that you can give. The only thing I can offer in return is that if you find yourself passing my door you will always be welcome to call in for a cuppa, a chat, and a bite of whatever home baking is on the go."

Andy described his appeal as a call out for help from the community to help Breezy rebuild her friend's beloved little cottage.

"Breezy's friends were kind enough to let her stay in their little thatched cottage at the start of the pandemic, thinking it would only be for a few weeks as we all did at the time.

"But with Breezy being so high risk and the Covid pandemic stretching on for so long, she stayed and while there it became the headquarters for the Bake Bread for Peace initiative and also with the blessings of the owners of the cottage Over The Half Door was born... a place that welcomed anyone who called to visit with a cuppa and a chat."

He explained that when the fire broke out last Saturday week it created an unstoppable blaze that could not be stopped even with four fire brigades at the scene.

"Poor Breezy could do nothing but call for help and watch it go up further. All of her beloved recipe books, music, and possessions have been destroyed and are irreplaceable,
"However the living heritage, the smile, the nod, the wink, the genuine welcome that embodies and embraces the hospitality and traditions of Donegal that people received when they visited Over The Half Door is not in books and objects.

He added: "Even if it's just a euro, it will help restore an important part of our living heritage, a place where traditions are safe and you will always be sure of a cuppa and a chat."

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