06.11.2018, 20:00 P.M.
Limerick Chapter: Knight of Glin Memorial Lecture
‘Ireland’s misfortune is thus the architect’s opportunity’: The building of Dromore Castle, Co. Limerick, 1867
Dromore Castle, the home of the earls of Limerick from the late 1860s, was designed by E.W. Godwin. A towering building, it is set amongst dense woods, above a lake, atop a rocky outcrop. Visible for miles, the castle has served as a local landmark for many years. This talk, by Paul O’Brien, explores the construction of the castle, built by the third Earl of Limerick in 1868. It is based on a fascinating collection of hitherto unknown photographs, which documented the mammoth building project. It is only because Dromore was sufficiently late in respect of the construction of great Irish houses - that the photographs were made and kept. The building methods and techniques will also be discussed. The talk also examines the influence of Godwin on the interiors of Dromore through a series of his sketches and paintings, which form part of the collection. A further insight into life at Dromore is offered by examining the 1906 visitors’ book signed by guests to the castle who sometimes included sketches and remembrances.
Dr Paul O’Brien is a historian who teaches at Mary Immaculate College, where he received his PhD in 2015. He has published across a wide range of topics from re-imagining the famine landscape to recruitment in the First World War. Paul’s first book, ‘Determined Perseverance’: The Glynn Family and Business Enterprise in Kilrush, 1811-1940’, based on his doctoral thesis, will be published in 2019 by Four Courts Press. In 2016, he was a Research Fellow at the Irish College, Paris. In addition to traditional scholarly research, Paul has developed an App: ‘Limerick’s Landmarks’, based on augmented reality, which presents Limerick in a ‘then and now’ fashion. It is due to be launched in early 2019. An active member of An Taisce, Paul also co-founded the Kilrush and District Historical Society in 2012.
Paul is currently researching a monograph on Lady Victoria Pery (1893-1918). As part of this project, he was granted access to the Pery family papers where he located the remarkable collection of photographs documenting the construction of Dromore Castle.