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.

Members offer: ‘Abbey Leix: An Irish Home And Its Demense’


Posted by Zoe Coleman

Newly published Abbey Leix: An Irish Home And Its Demense by William Laffan has just arrived in our bookshop, with a special offer for IGS members. Retailing at €45, upon presentation of your membership card you will get 20% off the marked price (instore only).

The book can also be purchased online:…/abbey-leix-an-irish-home-and-its-demesne

This offer for members will run for a limited time only.

Free postage within Ireland using code 'AbbeyLeixIRL17' (for a limited time only)

Review of tax relief for works historic buildings or gardens


Posted by Zoe Coleman

Section 482 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 was introduced to assist with the preservation of buildings or gardens determined to be ‘intrinsically of significant architectural, historical, scientific, horticultural or aesthetic interest’ by giving tax relief for their repair, maintenance, or restoration. A review of the relief is currently underway by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and the Department of Finance. As part of this process  a consultation paper has been issued on which comments must be submitted by 24th March 2017.

The Irish Georgian Society will be making a submission which will encourage the continuation and enhancement of the scheme as since its introduction it has facilitated conservation works to historic properties across the country that might otherwise not have been possible. The submission will also emphasise the job creating role of the scheme for conservation contractors and specialist conservators and will highlight the benefits of access to these properties for locals, tourists, scholars and the plain curious.

As a signatory to the Granada Convention and through the provisions of the Planning Acts, the State is  committed to the protection of our architectural heritage and places an obligation on the owners of protected structures to prevent their endangerment. With minimal grant aid available to support conservation works and compliance with conservation legislation, Section 482 provides an important incentive to protect our heritage and furthermore allows public access to participating properties.

Submission on the Consultation paper are open to all with information available on the following link:

Appeal to save historic landscape around Belcamp, Co. Dublin


Posted by Zoe Coleman

The Irish Georgian Society has appealed a decision by Fingal County Council to approve a major housing development at Belcamp, Malahide Road, Co. Dublin.

Belcamp was built in the 1780s by Sir Edward Newenham, politician, ardent supporter of the American Republican movement, and correspondent with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. It lay within “finely disposed grounds… commanding some rich views” and a tower built by Newenham still stands close by which is understood to have been the first monument ever erected in honour of George Washington.

The house and demesne were bought by the Oblate fathers in the 1890s and served as a school until 2004 when it was sold for its development potential. It has lain empty since that time and, through vandalism and arson, the house and its associated buildings have been extensively damaged. The current planning application proposes the restoration of the house which would secure its future however proposals to develop houses, apartments and shops within its parklands would irreversibly diminish its historic setting.   

The correspondence between Newenham and Washington covered a range of topics and included amongst these were considerations relating to the parklands they were developing around their respective homes in Dublin and Virginia. There are affinities between the two most notably in the layout of their avenues. Historic mapping evidence suggests that much of the historic landscape of Belcamp remains intact yet the current development is being proposed in the absence of a comprehensive landscape assessment carried out by a suitably qualified professional.

In appealing this planning application, the Society has submitted that as Belcamp is the only landscape in Ireland with an authentic connection to the American Revolution, it is critical that such an assessment be undertaken.

The full text of the Society’s appeal, prepared by members of its Architectural Conservation & Planning Committee, is available to download through this link.