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.

Conservation project update: Thomas Jervais window reinstated in Agher Church


Posted by IGS

Thomas Jevais window being reinstalled by the York Glaziers Trust (photo: Nick Bradshaw)


IGS Board member Johnnie McCoy, IGS Executive Director Donough Cahill, conservator Emma Newman (York Glaziers Trust), Reverend Janice Aiton, IGS Board member Primrose Wilson and local historian Noel French

The Thomas Jervais window in situ at Agher Church, Co. Meath

Thomas Jervais window in situ at Agher Church

On Sunday 21st August, a Songs of Praise afternoon was held at Agher Church to commemorate the reinstatement of the Thomas Jervais window there. York Glaziers Trust reinstalled the window at Agher last week (15-19th August), with the Irish conservator and YGT trainee Emma Newman.

This project was funded through grants and donations from The Heritage Council, Department of Arts Heritage & the Gaeltacht through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2016, The Primrose Trust, IGS London Chapter, IGS New York Chapter, IGS Chicago Chapter, Orla Coleman (IGS New York), Mary Lynn Cooney (IGS Chicago), Thomas Cooney (IGS Chicago), Arthur Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington, Select Vestry of Rathmoylan Union of Parishes and Meath County Council.

Project champion and co-ordinator was Deirdre McDermott (conservation architect, planner, urbanist and IGS volunteer) to whom the Irish Georgian Society is most grateful. 

Read about the progress of this project:
Restoration of Thomas Jervais window, Agher Church
Conservation project update: Thomas Jervais window removed for conservation work
Conservation project update: Thomas Jervais Window in York Glaziers Trust Studio

Download an information booklet relating to the Thomas Jervais window project here.

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Conservation project update: Re-pointing the City Assembly House


Posted by IGS

Work is underway on the re-pointing of the brick and stone work of the front elevation of the City Assembly House which will hugely enhance its character and transform views along South William Street. These works are necessary so as to remove cement pointing that was applied in the 1950s which has resulted in the spalling of the fabric of the façade and left a dreary elevation that belies the great interest of the building’s interiors. Failing to address this issue would have resulted in the continued deterioration of the brick and stone work over time and exacerbated future repair needs. Urgent repair works are also being carried out to replace lead flashing above the windows, over the doorcase, and on the parapet so as to halt water ingress.

The principal sponsor of this work programme is the Jerome L Greene Foundation with additional support from The Ireland Funds and Dublin City Council, and also from Nolan Group Stone Brick Restoration which is undertaking the works.

Keep an eye on the IGS website and the next edition of the Irish Georgian Society Review for more detailed updates.

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1916 Commemorative Cultural Event in Chicago, June 2016


Posted by IGS

Mr. Turtle Bunbury, the award-winning historian, was the featured guest at the 1916 Commemorative Cultural Event hosted by the Consul General of Ireland in Chicago in conjunction with The Irish Georgian Society.  Turtle Bunbury’s presence at this event to mark the Centennial of 1916 Rising was made possible by Rose Marie O’Neill, a long standing supporter of the Society and Mr. John Vaile, an active supporter of the Society and member of the Chicago Committee.  Orla McBreen, the recently arrived Irish Consul General, presiding over the proceedings, which included music and Turtle’s presentation based on his book, The 1916 Rising – The Photographic Record.

Mary McCain, Director of the DePaul Irish Studies Program interviewing Turtle Bunbury

The event was held at the Chicago Cultural Center, completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library. It contains the world’s largest stained glass Louis Comfort Tiffany dome – 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass.

The Consul General of Ireland, Orla McBreen, introducing Mr. Turtle Bunbury and his presentation: 'Easter Dawn, Alternative Perspectives on 1916'

One of the domes at The Chicago Cultural Center, the former Chicago Public Library, completed in 1897

Judge John Curry, Professor Mary McCain, former United States Ambassador to Ireland James Kenny

Patti Fahey of the Chicago Chapter posing a question to the speaker

Mr. Turtle Bunbury making an impassioned point to a spellbound crowd

Rick Danaher and friends

View more pictures from the evening on our facebook page.

Photographs: Michael Mascari

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Conservation Project Update: Lion’s Gate, Mote Park, Co. Roscommon


Posted by IGS

The Lion's Gate at Mote Park, Co. Roscommon is attributed to the celebrated Georgian architect James Gandon and comprises a triumphal archway with a Coade Stone lion mounted on top and has gate lodges to either side. Today the structure is in poor condition with weather action causing damage to its stonework and the legs of the Coade Stone lion fractured in places. Funding from the Irish Georgian Society and other donors has supported an appraisal of these issues by an expert in sculpture restoration and has contributed towards necessary repair works.

The pictures show the crane in place removing the Lion from the Gate

Detail of the damage to the legs of the Lion that needed urgent conservation work

The Lion after being carefully lowered to the ground

The Lion at the Coade workshop in Wilton, England, where the coade stone is currently being repaired

Frank Scott of Roscommon Heritage Group writes:

The Gate on which  the Lion stands is a James Gandon designed piece from 1787 and this is the first (and last) time he has been removed for repair work.

The Roscommon Heritage Group has for 25 years being trying to get the funds to fix the Lion as it was badly damaged, we think, when the lead was stolen. This Lion has also had bees living in it from the time it was put up and we felt that they were important too, so a lot of effort was put into keeping their group alive and of recording their DNA.

We have had help from the Bee Research Group in NUI Galway and some local bee keepers and we have managed to rehouse the bees in new hives in the area.

Removing the Lion took nearly 8 hours and with all the disruption not one person got stung all day! As soon as the Lion was lowered to the ground the damage showed up as 3 legs simply fell off, so it would not have made it through one more storm. The Lion should be back and reinstalled at Mote Park by September.

This conservation work has been made possible by grants from the Irish Georgian Society, the local council and other donors for which we are very grateful.

Images: Frank Scott


Project Supporters

IGS London Chapter

The Heritage Council

IGS New York Chapter

IGS Chicago Chapter

Roscommon Heritage Group

The Heritage Council

David Stutzman (IGS New York)

Patricia Sullivan (IGS New York)

Kathy Gilfillan (IGS New York)

Alicia and Norman Volk (IGS New York)

Robert and Kathleen Collimore (IGS Chicago)

Thomas Cooney (IGS Chicago)

Charles Tupta (IGS Chicago)

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Picnic Tour of the Follies and Curiosities of County Wicklow…


Posted by IGS

A summer picnic tour of 'places of interest' and a delicious lunch was organised by Pat Murray and John O'Brien on Saturday (30 July 2016)

The group visited the Stillorgan Obelisk, La Touche Monument in Christ Church Delgany, an Imogen Stuart door in Newcastle Church, Kilbride Mausoluem, Kilbridge pyramid and church.

There were refreshments in Hunters Hotel's lovelygardens, a delicious picnic lunch provided by Seamus Hogan in the gardens in Kilmacurragh and a visit to Avoca Mills.





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Press release: stabilisation of Vernon Mount, Co. Cork


Posted by IGS

The Irish Georgian Society calls for urgent action to be taken to safeguard and consolidate the remains of Vernon Mount to ensure it will continue to play a role as a unique Cork landmark.  To achieve this, an immediate appraisal of the building must be undertaken by structural engineers with suitable conservation expertise to determine a methodology for its stabilisation.

In appraising drone footage of the site, an initial analysis shows the survival of significant elements of the building including its distinctive bowed front and convex side bows, as well as its chimney stacks and side walls. Though clearly much has been lost internally, key structural sections that give the building its identity remain standing and must be stabilised.

Once the site is made safe, the next priority should be an archaeological sifting of the interiors with the aim of salvaging artefacts that may have survived. Such an excavation followed the recent devastating fire at Clandon Park, a National Trust property in Surrey, England, and resulted in the recovery of plasterwork fragments, an early eighteenth century state bed and other items. One wonders what might be found in Vernon Mount.

Cork County Council must play a lead role, not least due to the public reaction to the fire but also to its role in safeguarding our architectural heritage through implementing the conservation legislation. There is precedence for the rebuilding of fire damaged historic buildings and much can be learnt from these: Slane Castle, Co. Meath, Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow and, most recently, St. Mel’s Cathedral, Longford.

An enormous amount of time and money has been spent in seeking to safeguard Cork’s finest neo-Classical villa and this would all be to waste if an immediate push is not taken to save what remains and to plan for the future. The time to act is now!


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