Irish Georgian Society

Show / Hide Menu

Events Dublin's Heritage Buildings Show, Merrion Square Park

Back to Events
Dublin's Heritage Buildings Show, Merrion Square Park

11.06.2022, 10:00 A.M.

An action-packed weekend (Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th June from 10am to 5pm) exhibition in the park in Merrion Square. See over two dozen craftspeople actively demonstrate key traditional building skills needed for the conservation of old buildings including: sash window repairs, stained glass & fanlight conservation, stone carving, dry stonewall construction, use of lime-based mortars and hemp; brick pointing, decorative plasterwork; ironwork, slate roofing, gilding and wallpaper making, to name a few. All the demonstrations will be delivered by leading traditional building skills practitioners.

For one weekend Merrion Square Park will become a one-stop destination for owners in need of accurate, impartial, and free advice on caring and repairing for their old building.

To see full programme click here

These demonstrations will be complemented by information stands where you can engage with the Dublin City Council’s conservation and heritage officers and find answers regarding the management and care of your old building; and gather information on protected structure and architectural conservation area planning law, insurance, finance and related topics. Bring photographs of your building to gain more meaningful and tailored conservation advice.

In tandem with the demonstrations there will be a number of free walking tours celebrating Dublin’s built heritage, and site visits to historic buildings of interest on Merrion Square and its environs.

Additionally, in the park in Merrion Square, on Saturday 11th June, as part of the Cruinniú nÓg national festival of youth creativity, the Society will deliver six free children’s craft workshops: wallpaper making with David Skinner; stone carving with Philp Quinn; wood carving with Sven Habermann; gilding with Ruth Bothwell; fanlight making with Liam McCorkell and lime rendering with Edward Byrne. For full details for the children's craft workshops click here.

All demonstrations, walking tours, site visits and children’s craft workshops are free of charge and no booking is necessary.

Presented in partnership with Dublin City Council, with the support of The Heritage Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Creative Ireland, the Upper Leeson Street Area Residents Association and the South Georgian Core Residents Association.

(all free & no booking required)

Saturday 11th JUNE

10am: (House Tour) O’Connell House, 58 Merrion Square South. Current home of the University of Notre Dame and past home of ‘The Liberator’, Daniel O’Connell with Senior House Manager, Laura Conlon.

11am: (Walking Tour) Aspects of the History, Preservation and Presentation of Merrion Square Park. John Roche, Dublin City Council Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services Department.

11am: (House Tour & Music) Irish Traditional Music Archive, 73 Merrion Square South. An opportunity to visit the HQ of the ITMA, the national public archive and resource centre for Irish traditional music, song and dance – and enjoy live music from the Georgian era from ITMA team members Seán Potts (uilleann pipes) and Iarfhlaith Ó Dómhnaill (fiddle).

12 noon: (Exhibition Launch)
Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister for Heritage officially launches the Dublin’s Heritage Buildings Show with Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland at the exhibition marquees on the south-east lawn of Merrion Square.

1pm: (House Tour) National Gallery of Ireland. Join Kevin Blackwood, Blackwood Associates Architects & RIAI Historic Buildings Committee member, to learn about the conservation challenges and opportunities in the reimagining of the National Gallery of Ireland’s 19th century building for the presentation and preservation of art in the 21st century.

1pm: (House Tour) Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square East. Join Simon Lincoln, IAA Exhibitions and Outreach Officer, in Merrion Square’s largest terraced house to learn about it’s function as home of the IAA, which collects and preserves material of every kind relating to the architecture of Ireland and makes it available to the public.

2pm: (House Tour) Goethe-Insitut Irland, 37 Merrion Square East. Join Eamonn Kehoe, Director, Shaffrey Associate Architects, the conservation architects, who collaborated with Henchion Reuter Architects on the RIAI award winning adaptation and re-use of this Georgian townhouse (2019), who will discuss the conservation approaches.

3pm: (Walking Tour) Merrion Square’s Architecture and Urban Morphology. Join Rob Goodbody, local historian, planner and architectural conservationist, and author of the RIA’s Irish Historic Towns Atlas, Dublin, Part III, 1756 to 1847 as he traces the history and development of Dublin’s celebrated Georgian square.

4pm: (Walking Tour) Fitzwilliam Square’s Architecture & Preservation. Join Graham Hickey, Conservation Director with the Dublin Civic Trust, who will outline the architectural development of Fitzwilliam Square and consider its 21st century preservation and presentation.


10am: (Talk) A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: the importance of preventative maintenance for your historic building, Shóna O'Keeffe, Chair of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Ireland.

11am: (Talk) Historic Lime Pointing in Dublin’s Heritage Buildings, Shane Nolan, Buildings Lime Forum Ireland committee member & Director of The Nolans Group.

11am: (House Tour) ESB Project, Fitzwilliam Street. Kieran O’Brien, Director, Grafton Architects will lead a tour of the ESB’s Fitzwilliam Street project, which was completed by Grafton Architects with O'Mahony Pike Architects this year. Focusing on the building’s design and materials, an exemplar of critical regionalism, while placing the building in its conservation context, a ‘contested site’, which until 1965 laid claim to being the world’s longest intact Georgian street.

12 pm: (Talk) Reducing Energy and Carbon Use in Traditionally-built Houses whilst Preserving their Heritage Value, Colm Murray, Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council.

1pm: (House Tour) Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI), 63 Merrion Square East. Join RSAI past President Aideen Ireland on a tour of this Georgian house, which since 1917 has housed one of Ireland's premier learned societies. Established in 1849, the RSAI aims to ‘preserve, examine and illustrate all ancient monuments and memorials of the arts, manners and customs of the past, as connected with the antiquities, language, literature and history of Ireland’. Tour will include access to the RSAI’s faithfully restored Georgian garden.

2pm: (House Tour) Oscar Wilde House, 1 Merrion Square North. Martin Burns, Creative Director will lead a tour of the restored childhood home of world-famous poet, dramatist and wit, Oscar Wilde, now the modern-day location of American College Dublin.

2pm: (Talk) The History and Development of Merrion Square Park, James Howley, FRIAI, Conservation Architect (Grade 1). Director Howley Hayes Cooney Architects, author of the Merrion Square Conservation Plan.

3pm: (Walking Tour) Merrion Square’s Park: its designed landscape and conservation considerations. Join with James Howley, Director, Howley Hayes Cooney Architects, author of Conservation Plan for Merrion Square.

4pm: (Talk) The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) and the Survey of Dublin South City, Damian Murphy, Architectural Heritage Officer, NIAH, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

*Lectures are of 45 mins in duration please arrive on the hour to the Helen Roe Theatre in the basement of the RSAI, 63 Merrion Square South.
* Walking tours are of 50 mins in duration, please meet 10 minutes prior to commencement at the Irish Georgian Society’s stand at the exhibition marquees on the South-East lawn of Merrion Square.
* House Tours of cultural institutions on the square are 45 mins in duration with the exception of the NGI & Oscar Wilde house tours which are 1 ½ hours duration. A maximum of 25 people per tour. Please arrive on the hour at the address of the cultural institution.

The Heritage Council
Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage logo
Cruinniu na nOg
South Georgian Core Residents Association