About the Birr and Midlands Chapter and Committee
The Birr Chapter was established in 1993. In 2015, it extended its geographical reach and is now known as the Birr/Midlands Chapter. The aim, inter alia, is to include all members from the area in activities organised by the Chapter.
In 2015/2016 the Chapter was proud to support and contribute to the Famous and Notables of Birr (FAN) Trail. As a result, 27 Blue Plaques have now been installed around the town; these serve as a town trail for tourists and commemorates distinguished visitors and former residents including Dame Nelly Melba, Opera Singer; Bernadette O’Farrell, Hollywood actress and Lord Snowdon, renowned photographer.
After a hiatus prompted largely by COVID the Chapter returned in 2023 with new vigor. In September 2023 a reception in the the City Assembly House was held to recognize Chapter Patron the Earl of Rosse's entrance into the IGS President's Circle. At the same reception a certificate of commendation was given to retiring Chair John Joyce in recognition of his excellent work as Chair of the Birr Chapter.
Chapter Patron: the Earl of Rosse
Chair - Joe Breen
Hon Treasurer - Alicia Clements
Hon Secretary - Elizabeth Fogarty
Retiring committee Officers:
Chair - John Joyce
Hon Treasurer - Gerry Browne
Previous events have include
- 2017 : the Chapter organised a successful overnight trip to the Boyne Centre, Castle Ward, Mount Steward and Hillsborough Castle.
- 2018 : a Georgian Day was organised in the context of Heritage Week. This included a presentation to Birr Library of committee meeting reports from 1993 to 2013 for safe keeping in the local history section of the library; a tour around the Georgian highlights of the town and a lecture by Dr Patricia McCarthy entitled “Making the grand figure – country houses in Georgian Ireland”.
- 2019 : Two local tours were organised, the first to Gloster House, outside Birr, on 12 June where the group was welcomed by proprietors Tom and Mary Alexander.
A further trip to 3 Kildare Houses took place on 28 July – Larchill House and Arcadian Gardens courtesy of Michael de las Casas; Coolcarrigan House, Church and Gardens courtesy of Robert Wilson-Wright and Harristown House, courtesy of Hubert Beaumont.
Membership is organised via Irish Georgian Society HQ, Dublin
New members from the Birr/Midlands area are invited to contact us when they join so that they can be included in invitations to local activities.
The Folly, Gloster House, Brosna, Birr, with owner Tom Alexander and Lady Rosse - 12 June 2019
Coolcarrigan house with owner Robert Wilson Wright at back - 28 July 2019
Harristown House, Co Kildare, with owner Hubert Beaumont (front row, centre) and Lord and Lady Rosse (front row, right) - 28 July 2019
Visit to Larchill Arcadian gardens with owner Michael De Las Casas - 28 July 2019
Boland's Lock, Tullamore - 29 June 2019
Charleville Castle, Tullamore - 29 June 2019
Birr/Midlands chapter visit Mount Steward - 10 June 2017