Irish Georgian Society
The Irish Georgian Society aims to encourage an interest in and to promote the conservation of distinguished examples of architecture and the allied arts of all periods in Ireland. These aims are achieved by education and grants, planning participation, membership and fundraising.
Notable achievements of the Irish Georgian Society include, among others, the saving of threatened great buildings such as Castletown House, County Kildare; Damer House, County Tipperary; Doneraile Court, County Cork; Roundwood, Co. Laois; Tailors’ Hall, Dublin and 13 Henrietta Street, Dublin.
Recent projects include the restoration of mid-eighteenth century panelled rooms at Ledwithstown, County Longford; the repair of the early nineteenth-century south tower roof at Barmeath Castle, Co. Louth; the restoration of the pavilion cupolas of Kilshannig, Co. Cork, built in the 1760s to the designs of the Italian architect Davis Ducart; and, in association with the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, the World Monuments Fund and the Headfort Trust, the restoration of the superb Robert Adam decorative schemes at Headfort, County Meath.
These conservation efforts are funded by the members’ participation in the Society’s events programme, the fundraising of our chapters, by donations and bequests and by sales from the Society’s online book and gift shop.
The current project (2011- ) is the restoration of Dublin's 1760s City Assembly House in South William Street. This was the first purpose-built public exhibition gallery in Britain or Ireland. From 1809 it was the debating chamber of Dublin Corporation for nearly a century, and was the scene of many famous speeches by Daniel O'Connell.
The Society is a membership organisation whose purpose is to promote awareness and the protection of Ireland's architectural heritage and decorative arts. The Society was founded in 1958 by the Hon. Desmond Guinness and his late wife Mariga and since that time many buildings of significant architectural merit have been saved through their work and the work of members and supporters. The next President of the Society was Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, who died in 2011, followed by Patrick Guinness.
In 2006 the Hon. Desmond Guinness was awarded a Europa Nostra prize for the Society's preservation activities.
A fully illustrated book by Robert O'Byrne on the society's first 50 years was published in 2008.
Support from the USA and UK
Much of the Society's income comes from supporters outside Ireland. In the USA they were registered in 1968 as Irish Georgian Society Inc., and in the UK as the "Irish Georgian Trust". The Society's work in Ireland is managed by the Irish-registered Irish Georgian Foundation, registered in 1970.
- The Georgian Society Celebration