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Special Projects

National Famine Commemoration Sod Cabin

Initiated by University College Cork we are delighted that the National Famine Commemoration Sod Cabin (An Bóthan) has been shortlisted for the Engineers Ireland Excellence Award in Heritage and Conservation. The Bothán construction was built as part of the 2018 National Famine Commemoration. The project team consisted of academics and engineers. A local contractor, Gebel & Helling Conservation Ltd., was selected to carry out the construction with UCC Buildings and Estates Office. These particular contractors have a special interest in the revival of traditional building techniques and hold regular public workshops and lectures. The organic construction materials used in the sod cabin were sourced locally from the grounds of our campus. The structure is a living structure and the vegetation growth changes with the seasons from the damp and cold spring to the hot and dry summer of 2018.

Source: University College Cork


Gebel & Helling Conservation Ltd.

Thank you to the people involved:

  • Prof. Patrick O’Shea, President of University College Cork
  • Mike Murphy, Head of Cartography at UCC Geography Department
  • Paul Prendergast & Ross O’ Donovan, UCC Building & Estate Management
  • Barry Kendellen & The Pavillion

Our part: Structural design and construction works.

A replica mud cabin - An Bothán - has been built on the grounds of University College Cork as part of the National Famine Commemoration event taking place this weekend there. "It is to serve as a stark reminder of how the poorest lived - and died, during the Great Irish Famine of 1845 to 1852", according to Mike Murphy, head of cartography in UCC's Geography Department.

Christian Helling Stone

The Gathering of Stones

Initiated by the Drystonewall Association of Ireland

The Gathering of Stones is a dry stone monument built by the people of Ireland for the people of Ireland across the world. All of the stone for this project has been donated by the proud people of Ireland and it is being built entirely by volunteers. This project is has received no funding of any kind. It is a true monument of the people.

Our part:

» Leinster Province Crest, donated & carved by Julia Gebel

» Connacht Province Crest, donated & carved by Christian Helling

» Romanesque Arch, donated, carved & installed by Christian Helling & team

Christian Helling Stone

Source: Drystone Wall Association of Ireland

Further information:

The complex splayed Romanesque arch that twists into a segmental arch of same radius inside the central structure. A splayed triangular arch can be seen opposite it. Pat McAfee had a hand in the design and it was cut and fit by Christian Helling and his team.. Note the ‘dropped’ keystone and Christian’s signature stone dressing technique. 

Source: Stonexus Magazine & StoneZine Photo: Sunny Wieler

Tir Chonaill Stone Festival 2016 - Ireland made in Irish stone

Initiated by the Drystonewall Association of Ireland

Built in honour of the events of 1916, this monument was unveiled as part of Tír Chonaill Stone Festival in 2016. Located in Glencolmcille it depicts each county carved in it’s native stone, embellished with the symbols and stories which Irish people hold close to their hearts.

Christian Helling Stone

Our part: Carving of County Galway by Christian Helling

Tir Chonaill Stone Festival 2015

A feature of the Tirconnell Stone Festival in Glencolmcille, Co Donegal, Ireland.

A stone chair carved by sculptor/stonemason Christian Helling from Cork and placed in the wall in memory of Martin McBrearty, one of their group who recently passed.

Stone throne

Source: Stonexus Magazine & StoneZine
Photo: Margaret Rose Cunningham

Christian Helling Stone

Gebel & Helling Conservation Ltd.

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