Gibbons Bar. Photo from conservation report submitted to Mayo County Council.

Guesthouse proposal for south Mayo pub property

A PUB premises in south Mayo is set to get a new lease of life as a guesthouse.

An application for a change of use for Gibbons Bar, a landmark property in The Neale, from a public bar to a guesthouse has been submitted to Mayo County Council.

A conservation report submitted to planners sets out how part of the building dates from the 1800s.

It was used as a public house until recently but is currently in a poor state and remedial works are needed, in particular to the roof and fabric of the structure.

A single storey thatched section of the building has protected status.

The report's conclusion set out: 'The relevant listed section of the building is a pleasant traditional structure that is part of the historical stock of such buildings that dot the rural Irish countryside. Unfortunately, the building is part of a public house that is no longer in use.

'The ‘Irish pub’ is not as sustainable a business in rural Ireland as it was twenty years ago. Irish rural pubs are closing at a very fast rate.

'In most cases, when older buildings are not used or occupied, they fall into disrepair and eventually become eyesores and thus a potential blight on the rural and urban landscape. The best way to save such buildings is to repurpose to a more sustainable use.

'In the context of the Gibbons building the owner wishes to use the building for guest accommodation purposes.

‘As the external fabric of the building is not going to be altered, we see no negative impact from the change of use of the structure.'