Irish Georgian Society

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The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster a keen interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through its scholarly and conservation education programmes, through its support of conservation projects and planning issues, and vitally, through its members and their activities.

2019: Our Year in Review


Posted by IGS


IGS Membership Events Coordinator Roisin Lambe promoting membership of the Society at the RDS Horse Show in August

2019 was another bustling and exciting year for the Society, so as we wind down for the year, we wanted to share our highlights of the year with you, our members and supporters.

Thank you to all of our members and supporters who made these events worthwhile, your continued support enables to fulfill our mission and create an engaging and enriching conservation education programme as well as a programme of events for our members. From all of us in the office, we look forward to seeing you in 2020!


Irish Georgian Society staff and volunteers at the Kildare Heritage Buildings Show at Castletown House in June: Executive Director Donough Cahill; IGS volunteer Tatiana Smith-St Kitts; Programmes and Communications Coordinator, Zoë Coleman; Kildare County Council Heritage Officer Bridget Loughlin; Assistant Director and Conservation Manager Emmeline Henderson, OPW Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran; IGS Membership and Events Coordinator Róisín Lambe


Our year kicked off with our winter lecture series in the City Assembly House, with two talks: 'Conserving your Dublin period house - 1747 not 2019!' and ‘A Catholic College for a Catholic People’.


Donough Cahill speaking at the Heritage Ireland 2030 public consultation event in Limerick


Our annual Conserving Your Dublin Period House lunchtime seminar series commenced. The Limerick Chapter held a Heritage Ireland 2030 public consultation event with Limerick City and County Council and The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaelteacht which was attended by over 80 participants. In its submission to the Department, the IGS welcomed the preparation of a new national heritage plan and called for the publication to include clear actions and measurable targets for the achievement of the objectives. Read it here.



The IGS 2019 Conservation Grants programme was launched, funded by IGS London. In the Unites States, the Society's annual gathering in Palm Beach saw a series of events including a talk on Sir Hugh Lane from Robert O'Byrne, and a fundraising Cocktail Party for local supporters.


Sir David Davies, IGS President, welcomes guests to High Tea in The Brazilian Court, Palm Beach



We launched a website and hosted an open evening for the City Assembly House, to attract prospective clients. You can follow the City Assembly House on instagram. Christopher Moore gave an impassioned lecture on Castletown House: 50 years of re-appraisal’ and some of our members went on an international trip to Edinburgh.


Dr Conor Lucey, Prof Christine Casey & Dr Ellen Rowley at the launch of Volume XXI of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies


Dawood Nazerali (National Guide) with group at National Museum, Addis Ababa


Coffee ceremony at National Museum, Addis Ababa - Diane and Trevor Orr with Mary O'Leary


Michael Wall, Sir David Davies, Dr Finola O Kane, Andrew Carpenter and Donough Cahill at the launch of Volume XXI of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies in May


Tom and Jane Kearns, Bob and Vicki Borden on the IGS Inc tour to Ireland in May


Volume XXI of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies launched at the City Assembly House, TU Dublin Conservatoire's May Rush Hour Concerts were hosted at the City Assembly House. The City Assembly House wins the 2019 RIAI Award for Adaptation and Re-use: Conservation. Some of members embarked on an International Tour to Ethiopia. The recipients of our 2019 Conservation Grants Programme were announced. IGS Inc supporters came to Ireland for an international trip, while taking in the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.


Ken Curran of The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) leading a dry stone walling demonstration


Thatcher Ken Leonard with some eager heritage enthusiasts!


Launch of the Kildare Heritage Buildings Show at Castletown House on 15 June: Bridget Loughlin, Heritage Officer KCC; Emmeline Henderson, IGS Assistant Director & Conservation Manager, IGS; Councillor Michael Coleman, Kildare County Council; Donough Cahill, IGS Executive Director; Cathaoirleach Suzanne Doyle, Kildare County Council; Peter Black, Architectural Conservation Officer, Kildare County Council; Camilla McAleese, IGS Vice President; Councillor Venessa Liston; OPW Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran; John Cahill, OPW Assistant Principal Architect; Michael Wall, IGS Chairperson; and Jacqui Donnelly, Senior Architect, Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


Ruth Bothwell of Decowell at the Cruinniú na nÓg Children’s Workshops at the Kildare Heritage Buildings Show, Castletown in June


David Skinner demonstrating how to design wallpapers at a Cruinniú na nÓg Children’s Workshop


Doneraile Court reopening


'Conservation without Frontiers' students gathered outside the Masonic Hall, Cavan town


The Kildare Heritage Buildings Show took place at Castletown House. The cross-border 'Conservation without Frontiers' summer school took place in counties Cavan and Fermanagh, organised in partnership with Ulster Architectural Heritage. Doneraile Court, Co. Cork reopens to the public.


Events Committee members Caroline Stephenson and Pat Murray at the garden party


Katrina O'Sullivan, David Madden, Letitia Pollard and Rose Mary Craig at the garden party

July – Our members' Summer Garden Party took place in Durhamstown Castle.


CAH Exhibitions Committee member Victoria Browne launches the Weber Furlong Retrospective exhibition


Liberties walking tour with Arran Henderson


Wexford Picnic Tour group


The City Assembly House hosted the Weber Furlong Retrospective exhibition. Members undertook a tour of the The Liberties with Arran Henderson, as well as the Picnic tour to Wexford and Lambay Island Day Tour.


The Irish Baroque Orchestra performance at Culture Night in the City Assembly House


Lexlip Boathouse undergoing conservation works


The City Assembly House opened its doors once again for one of the best nights of the year - Culture Night! We were thrilled to host the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Pallas Projects artists, and 500 of you visited the building after hours! The major restoration of the 18th-century Leixlip Castle boathouse was completed with the support of funding from the Irish Georgian Society. Read about it here. An IGS sponsored exhibition ‘Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier’ opened in the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The six recipients of the President's Circle were announced by Sir David Davies.


Capard House author Ciarán Reilly with his wife Tara at the book launch


Marina Guinness accepting the President's Circle certificate from Sir David Davies on behalf of the Hon. Desmond Guinness in September


IGS Conservation and Original Drawing Awards Committee: David Griffin, Edward McParland, Livia Hurley, Frank McDonald and Frank McCloskey


Christine Casey delivering her lecture on the Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin for the Victorian Dublin Revealed lecture series



Jacqui Ansell delivers the 2019 Standish Barry lecture

Cost-of-Revolution-The-Life-and-Death-of-an-Irish-Soldier.jpg#asset:13195'Cost of Revolution The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier', IGS sponsored exhibition in the Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia


Robert O'Byrne, Beth Dater, Michael Kerrigan, Suzy Moran and Michael Wall at the launch of 'Cost of Revolution The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier'.


The annual New York and Chicago Gala dinners took place and raised substantial funds to support the Society's Conservation Education programme. Capard House was launched at the City Assembly House, and the winners of the 2019 Architectural Awards were announced. The sold-out Victorian Dublin Revealed lecture series commenced and the annual Standish Barry Lecture on 'To Rome, then Home: Batoni and his Irish Sitters (Fashioning Identities in the Grand Tour Portrait)'.


Fred Krehbiel, Laurie Weed and Meredeth Moriarity at the Chicago Gala Dinner


The Kearns and Bordens at the New York Gala Dinner


Beth Dater and Susan Burke at the New York Gala Dinner in October


Castle Coole Study Day Speakers and Chairs (left to right): Dr Patricia McCarthy, Dr John Martin Robinson; Terence Reeve-Smyth, Primrose Wilson, Christopher Monkhouse; Lady Belmore, Lord Belmore, David Skinner, Emmeline Henderson, Donough Cahill, Frances Bailey, Dr William Roulston.


The Ballycumber Folly undergoing conservation works, funded by the Society's Conservation Grants Programme


The much anticipated Castle Coole Study Day took place in Castle Coole, Co. Fermanagh, in partnership with National Trust Northern Ireland. The annual Mary Bryan lecture 'Navigating our heritage at Lough Rynn' was given by architect Robin Mandal, former president of RIAI. Conservation works to the Ballycumber Folly in Co. Offaly was completed.


Desmond Guinness Scholarship was awarded to Cora McDonagh (Maynooth)


Member Carmel Humphries and a friend enjoying the festivities at the Christmas Party in No. 12 Henrietta St


The Desmond Guinness Scholarship was awarded to Cora McDonagh at the IGS Members Christmas Party to support her PhD research on ‘Irish Country House art collections: Exhibitions, Estate Expenditure and Civic Bequests 1814-1914.’. Dr Kathryn Milligan's study on ‘Exhibiting, viewing and selling art in Dublin, 1845-1849’ was also acknowledged, and she was awarded the Desmond Guinness Prize.