Irish Georgian Society

Show / Hide Menu


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.

Submission on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation


Posted by IGS

FAO. Mr. David Healy,

Limerick City & County Council,

Merchants Quay,





Re: Submission on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation, as tabled at public consultation June 2017.

Dear Mr. Healy,

The Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society wish to make the following comments following the public consultation on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation.

O’Connell Street in Limerick is one of the great Georgian Streets of Europe. However it’s current status as a through traffic thoroughfare in the city centre has made it an unpleasant and unsafe place for pedestrian users. Heavy vehicular traffic is also putting undue pressure on the significant historic fabric of street both above and below ground. While we acknowledge that efforts have been made to reduce traffic and prioritise the pedestrian in the current option tabled by Limerick City and County Council, we submit that your proposals do not go far enough.

In order for O’Connell Street and the surrounding streets of Newtown Pery to be transformed into a place where people would like to live, visit, shop and work, a more radical approach is required with regards the traffic and pedestrian management of the city centre. Therefore we are calling on Limerick City and County Council to review the proposal, taking into account our comments as follows:

  • Prepare a Traffic and Pedestrian Management Plan for the city centre, which would prioritise the movement of pedestrians and cyclists over cars and buses.
  • Remove through traffic from O’Connell Street, allowing only local access for cars, timed deliveries, emergency vehicles etc.
  • Reconsider the use of one way traffic systems, which are proven to promote faster speeds. The use of two lanes of one way traffic has long proven to be unsuccessful on O’Connell Street, where traffic dominates the street making is unsafe for use by pedestrians.
  • It is imperative that best conservation practice is used in order to protect the historic fabric both above and below ground.
  • The historic railings, steps, kerbs, coal covers etc., must be protected and conserved.
  • The cellars must be retained as a significant historic feature of the street. Eliminating heavy traffic and reducing overall traffic considerably would involve less structural interventions to the brick vaults.
  • The Crescent is a natural public space. We urge Limerick City and County Council to reconsider the design of this space for the citizens of Limerick City. Parking should not be retained on the Crescent and while some vehicular access may need to be retained, it should be kept to a minimum with traffic speeds reduced to 10-20km per hour.
  • We are not calling for full pedestrianisation, however we believe that in order to achieve your own key objective of pedestrian priority, the proposal must take a more radical approach to the reduction of traffic on O’Connell Street and within Newtown Pery as a whole.

We have had ongoing discussions with the #LiveableLimerick group in relation to the project as it has developed, and we wish to support the submission made by the group.

On behalf of the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society Committee,

Yours sincerely,

Ailish Drake, B. Arch Sc., MA, MRIAI

Limerick Chapter Chair


Read more

Conservation project update: Garden Pavilion, Beaulieu, Co. Louth


Posted by IGS

Works are underway in Beaulieu, Co. Louth, to repair the roof of a classical garden pavilion situated at the entrance to one of Ireland’s finest walled gardens. The pavilion comprises a much-altered Doric portico, dating to the Georgian period, that is attached to a later Edwardian south-facing glasshouse. Inside the glasshouse is a large full-height recess formed as a grotto that surrounds an artificial well with rustic stonework characteristic of classical grottoes.

Current repairs are focussed on the roof which will secure the building and allow breathing space to plan for future works to the portico and glazing. The project is being supported through grants from the Irish Georgian Society’s US chapters, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, and The Heritage Council.

Read more

Picnic Tour to Co. Meath


Posted by IGS

Picnic Tour of County Meath - Saturday 8 July, 2017

Members started the day with a visit to Larchill Arcadian Gardens which has a beautiful designed landscape with ten follies and a Ferme Orneé which was developed by a haberdasher called Richard Prentice in the late eighteenth century. The group proceeded to Agher Church to see the the painted stained glass window by Thomas Jervais which once adorned the family chapel in Dangan Castle. This window was restored with the assistance of the Irish Georgian Society. Next on the tour, a grotto part of the estate of Summerhill House where the group met a local hermit. Then the group visited Dangan Obelisk, part of the ruined Dangan Castle estate which was own by the Wesley or Wellesley family. The obelisk was restored by Christopher Gray,  R. Daly (owner), Meath County Council and a grant from the Irish Georgian Society. Next, members were treated to a lovely lunch at Higginsbrook House provided by the Gray family. After lunch, the group visted the ruins of Trimblestown Castle and roamed the estates graveyard and chapel which was recently re-roofed by a local group. St. Mary's Abbey was next which is a house built next to the yellow steeple in Trim. Part of the monastery was converted to a house in 1415 by Sir John Talbot and changed owners most notable of which was Esther Johnson, better known as Stella who sold it to Jonathan Swift. It was later used as a school, its most famous scholar was Arthur Wesley, later the Duke of Wellington. 





Read more

City Assembly House update - progress in the exhibition room


Posted by IGS

Scaffolding has been erected in the great octagonal Exhibition Room following the completion of works to soundproof the floor from what will be a commercial space below. This will provide access to the roof-light which requires replacement and will also facilitate works to the ceiling and walls of the room. The first big change is the removal of the enormous 1950s two tiered chandelier with its twelve large glass lightshades. This chandelier is for sale with proceeds going to support conservation. Get in touch if you know of a buyer!

Read more

IGS to actively support research into the architectural history of Cork city


Posted by IGS

Following a series of catastrophic fires in protected structures in Cork, the Irish Georgian Society calls for a greater understanding of the importance of and threats to the city's architectural heritage:

Cork, Ireland's most significant trading city for many hundreds of years, has suffered greatly from the destruction of some of her most significant buildings- yesterday St. Kevin's and last year Vernon Mount and Fortwilliam House. Despite the extraordinary wealth of Cork's Georgian and Victorian architectural heritage much research remains to be carried out. When compared with our knowledge of the Fitzwilliam, Gardiner and Aungier estates, who built and commissioned many of Dublin city's squares, streets, terraces and great houses, we know little of Cork. The comparison might also hold true for Limerick, where knowledge of the Pery family's developments has helped to save them from some insensitive development. Cork County Council's recent publication A Guide to the Archaeological and Architectural Heritage Sources (available online) reveals that the number of architectural history sources for Cork city remains meagre, with some notable exceptions provided by Dagmar O'Riain, Frank Keohane, Jeremy Williams, Mary Leland and Colin Rynne among others.

It is the intention of the Irish Georgian Society to actively support research into the architectural history of Cork city so that its architectural heritage may be more valued and thereby more likely to be conserved for future generations. Volume XXI of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies, The Journal of the Irish Georgian Society will be devoted to the architectural and landscape heritage of Cork city with this aim in mind.

Read more

Book of the Month: Houses of Power The Places that Shaped the Tudor World


Posted by IGS

Book of the Month: July 2017
Houses of Power The Places that Shaped the Tudor World 
by Simon Thurley 

What was it like to live as a royal Tudor? Why were their residences built as they were and what went on inside their walls? Who slept where and with who? Who chose the furnishings? And what were their passions?

The Tudors ruled through the day, throughout the night, in the bath, in bed and in the saddle. Their palaces were genuine power houses - the nerve-centre of military operations, the boardroom for all executive decisions and the core of international politics. Houses of Power is the result of Simon Thurley's thirty years of research, picking through architectural digs, and examining financial accounts, original plans and drawings to reconstruct the great Tudor houses and understand how these monarchs shaped their lives. Far more than simply an architectural history - a study of private life as well as politics, diplomacy and court - it gives an entirely new and remarkable insight into the Tudor world.

For the month of July, you can purchase this book at the special price of €40, with free worldwide postage. Or €30 from our bookshop on South William Street.

Published by Bantam Press (2017)

Read more