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.



Posted by IGS

The Irish Georgian Society wishes to thank all the speakers (John Burgess; Peter Cox; Jacqui Donnelly; Adala Leeson; Joseph Little; Fergal McGirl; Brian McIntyre; Colm Murray; Carl Raftery; Dr James Ritson ; Grainne Shaffrey; Dr Rosanne Walker) and Chairs (Colm Murray and Carl Raftery) who contributed to the Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings seminar, which took place both in the City Assembly House and online on Thursday 24th November 2022.

The Irish Georgian Society also wishes to thank the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage, and The Heritage Council for their support of the seminar.

The full capacity seminar provided practical, appropriate, and easy to understand advice and guidance on how to thermally upgrade historic buildings and reduce energy costs whilst ensuring that no damage occurs to their historic fabric and character. Best practice case studies were showcased and information on planning considerations, wall, roof, floor and window insulation, heating systems and grant aid were provided.

The seminar was attended by historic buildings owners and building professionals and practitioners.

It is now possible to PURCHASE A RECORDING OF THE PROCEEDINGS (€50) which will be available to watch until Thursday 15th December 2022.

The seminar is recognised by the Construction Industry Federation, Engineers Ireland, Register of Heritage Contactors and the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland as formal/structured CPD (5 points). Those who purchase a recording of the proceedings and register to watch the seminar will receive a certificate of attendance.


Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings - the Context by Jacqui Donnelly, Senior Architect in Built Heritage Policy at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Reuse and recycle to reduce carbon, towards a circular economy for the historic environment by Adala Leeson, Head of Socio-Economic Analysis and Evaluation at Historic England.

Case Study: Dun Laoghaire Victorian Maritime House by Grainne Shaffrey, Principal, Shaffrey Architects, Grade I RIAI Conservation Accredited.

Benign Sustainable Interventions in Historic Dwellings by Dr James Ritson, Vice-President, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability.

Introduction to Wall Insulation for Traditional Buildings by Dr Rosanne Walker, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Research Group on the Fabric of Traditional Buildings (FabTrads), UCD.

Decarbonising Energy Use for Residents in Georgian Buildings – where are the opportunities?
by John Burgess – Buildings Performance Practitioner, MEP Lead Engineer for Arup, Cork.

Case Study: Rubrics: Energy Retrofitting Trinity College Dublin’s Oldest Surviving Building by Peter Cox, MD, Carrig Conservation International Ltd.

Case Studies of Energy Upgrades to Traditionally Built Buildings: a conservation architect’s perspective by Fergal McGirl, Fergal McGirl Architects.

Circular and deep -Case Study of the Renovation-Extension of an Urban Victorian Cottage in Dublin by Joseph Little, Head of Construction and Building Performance, School of Architecture & Building and Environment, TU Dublin.

Grant Aid for Improving the Thermal Performance of Traditionally Built Buildings by Brian McIntyre, Programme Manager, High Performance Building Technologies, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.


IMAGE 1: Colm Murray, Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council chairing the morning session of the Irish Georgian Society's Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings seminar with speakers (left to right): Grainne Shaffrey, Shaffrey Architects; Adala Leeson, Head of Socio-Economic Analysis and Evaluation at Historic England, and Jacqui Donnelly, Senior Architects, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage.

IMAGE 2: Attendees at the Energy Efficiency in Historic Houses seminar at the City Assembly House.

IMAGE 3: Colm Murray, Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council chairing the second morning session with speakers (left to right): Dr James Ritson, Vice President, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability; Dr Rosanne Walker, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Research Group on the Fabric of Traditional Buildings, UCD.

IMAGE 4: Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings afternoon speakers (left to right): Brian McIntyre, Programme Manager, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; Fergal McGirl, Fergal McGirl Architects; Joseph Little, Head of Construction and Building Performance, School of Architecture & Building and Environment, TU Dublin; Peter Cox, Carrig International.

IMAGE 5: Carl Raftery, Architectural Conservation Advisor, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage chairing the afternoon session.

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Desmond Guinness Scholarship 2022 open for applications


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The Hon. Desmond Guinness (1931-2020)

Desmond Guinness

The Desmond Guinness Scholarship is awarded annually by the Irish Georgian Society to an applicant or applicants engaged in research on the visual arts of Ireland including the work of Irish architects, artists and craftsmen, material culture and design history, 1600-1940. Preference will be given to work based on original documentary research.

The Scholarship is intended primarily for applicants who are not yet established at an advanced professional level in research or publication of the visual arts.

The Scholarship does not have to be awarded in any one year, and the decision of the assessors, appointed by the Irish Georgian Society, is final. The total value of the scholarship fund available for distribution is in the region of €2,000. The award will be made before the end of December 2022.

Deadline for applications is 12PM on Thursday 24th November.

Please note the following:

  • Applications must be made online through this form:
  • No additional information or any other accompanying material will be accepted.
  • All questions must be answered and incomplete applications will not be considered. Late applications will not be accepted.
  • The Scholarship will not cover tuition fees.
  • A confidential reference supporting the applicant (with subject heading 'Desmond Guinness Scholarship 2022 Reference) should be sent via email to This emailed reference must be received directly from the reference provider's own email address (not the applicant's) and arrive by the closing date.

If you have any further queries about the scholarship please contact:

Emmeline Henderson ( or by phoning 01 679 8675.

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Georgian Homes: material culture of the domestic interior in 18th century Ireland lectures autumn 2022


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Georgian Homes: material culture of the domestic interior in 18th century Ireland.

The Irish Georgian Society is delighted to present our Conservation Education Programme autumn 2022 lecture series. These thematic talks will explore the material culture of the Irish Georgian house, in both town and country, focusing on interior decoration, furniture and fine art.

Commencing on Tuesday 11th October, the talks will run for nine consecutive Tuesday evenings.

The keynote introductory talk, Great Irish Households: understanding their inventories will be delivered by John Adamson, editor, producer and indexer of the new publication, Great Irish Households: Inventories from the Long Eighteenth Century.

Other distinguished speakers include: Dr Aidan O'Boyle (art collections); Dr Alison FitzGerald (silver); James Peill (furniture); Sarah Foster (shopping); Annabel Westman (textiles); Dr Patricia McCarthy (wine cellars); and Dr Mark Purcell (books and libraries). The concluding lecture in the series will be delivered by Dr Conor Lucey, who will provide insights into his forthcoming publication, House and Home in Georgian Ireland.

Enjoy the lectures in person at the IGS's City Assembly House or virtually through Zoom. *It is now possible to book for in-person CAH tickets on an individual basis.

To book visit our events page where talks can be booked individually or at a discounted whole course rate.

Download the full lecture programme here.

Photos of speakers (top left clockwise): John Adamson; Dr Alison FitzGerald; Dr Patricia McCarthy; Mark Purcell; Sarah Foster; Dr Conor Lucey; James Peill; Dr Aidan O'Boyle; and Annabel Westman.

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2022 Architectural Conservation Awards Shortlisted Projects


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The Irish Georgian Society launched the 2022 Architectural Conservation and Original Drawing Awards sponsored by John Paul Construction in the Spring, receiving a total of 20 applications across the two categories. The Awards are open to Irish architects and architectural practices, building surveyors, contractors, engineers, and other professionals involved in the conservation of historic buildings on the island of Ireland.

Click here to learn more about the awards.

The judging panel consisting of Livia Hurley (Chair), Karen Latimer, Simon Lincoln, Frank McDonald, and Kevin V Mulligan, met in May to reduce the 16 applications for the Architectural Conservation Project category to a shortlist of nine projects. The panel gained Andrew Tierney as additional panelist for the shortlist tour which they completed at the end of August.

Please join us as we announce the winner of the 2022 Architectural Conservation and Original Drawing Awards at a reception hosted at the City Assembly House on Thursday 20 October at 6:30pm.

Congratulations to the shortlisted projects:

Alistair Coey - Gunpowder Store in Donaghadee

Howley Hayes - Carlingford Castle in Carlingford & 9 Merrion Square in Dublin

Fingal County Council - Casino Railway Museum in Malahide

Lotts Architecture - Riverstown House in Kildangan

FMP Architects - Honan Chapel UCC in Cork City

ACP Architectural Conservation Professionals - Dunraven Fountain in Adare

O'Neill Architecture - ONA Farmhouse in Nenagh

Office of Public Works - Gate of Justice at Dublin Castle

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IGS stand at Timeless: The Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair 2022


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Timeless 2022

The IGS is delighted to announce that it will once again have a stand at the Irish Antiques Fair in the RDS from 23rd – 25th September 2022. An invitation to attend can be downloaded from the following link and entitles the bearer plus one guest free entry to the event: Timeless 2022 invitation

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Castletown House – A Golden Opportunity


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Bring the lands into public ownership

A letter by Donough Cahill originally published on The Irish Times:

Sir, – The recently featured article on the sale of lands immediately to the rear of Castletown House, Co Kildare, raises great concerns for the future protection of one of the most architecturally significant buildings of Ireland’s Georgian period (“Celbridge landholding with ‘future development potential’ for €5 million”, July 6th).

The Irish Georgian Society has called for the State to bring the lands into public ownership through the Office of Public Works and so forever safeguard the setting of Castletown.

The urgency of this is illustrated in the marketing materials for the site that were highlighted in The Irish Times article which suggests they have a “future development potential”. It should be noted that this is entirely aspirational as the lands are currently zoned for open space and amenity and which, given their proximity to Castletown, is an objective that should never be changed.

In purchasing Castletown in 1967, Desmond Guinness acquired 120 acres to the front of the house “so as to preserve them” and in doing so provided a protective envelope that secured its setting and protected views extending to the south. While some housing was subsequently built, the greater part of the historic demesne remains intact. This is a testament to the success of Desmond’s vision and the subsequent custodianship and management of Castletown by the Castletown Foundation and by the Office of Public Works.

Extending the State’s ownership of land in the Castletown demesne would not just protect the setting of the house but would also greatly enhance the amenity value of its parklands. It is noted that Castletown House & Parklands was the fifth most popular visitor destination in Ireland in 2019 attracting 965,632 visitors. This additional landholding would present opportunities for visitors to further explore and utilise the parklands to the rear of the house and would facilitate and secure the current access route from the M4 motorway. As one of the most important historic buildings in Ireland, it is incumbent on all with an interest in and responsibility for our heritage to ensure that Castletown House is protected for the present and for future generations. Ever since the demesne was broken up in the 1960s there have been aspirations to reunite the house with its historic landscape. It seems that now, after over 50 years, a golden opportunity has arisen for the State to achieve this. – Yours, etc,


Executive Director,

Irish Georgian Society,

Dublin 2.

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