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.

Desmond Guinness Scholarship 2022 Announced


Posted by IGS

The Irish Georgian Society is delighted to announce that the Desmond Guinness Scholarship 2022 has been awarded to Dee Ring, while a commendation has been given to Deborah White.

Dee Ring, DG Scholarship 2022 winner and Dr Conor Lucey

Dr Conor Lucey presenting Dee Ring with the Desmond Guinness Scholarship 2022


Dee Ring is a PhD Research Student at TU Dublin, Grangegorman, who is undertaking a PhD thesis on the documentation of Ireland’s visual graphic heritage of vernacular shopfront lettering with Kilkenny shopfronts as a case study. Dee Ring’s thesis is being supervised by Dr Mary Ann Bolger and Dr Niamh Ann Kelly.

Dee will use the Desmond Guinness Scholarship to help defray the costs of two study trips to the UK. The first will be to the city of Stirling, Scotland to study recent signage initiatives for Stirling's historic shopfronts rolled out by the Stirling Heritage Trust

While in Stirling, Dee will also examine the methodologies employed in recent shopfront audits conducted for Stirling City Council by Dr Lindsay Lennie, Stirling Heritage Trust Manager, and historic shopfront conservation specialist.

The second study trip will be to Birmingham City University to test Dr Geraldine Marshall's METL system for capturing and cataloguing environmental lettering. The process will involve examining existing images to learn and experience the system first-hand with the creator. Additionally, this research exercise will assist in informing and validating the classification system and methodology devised for the Kilkenny Traditional Shopfront Signage Project 2021 pilot survey, which Dee was commissioned to undertake by Kilkenny County Council with the support of Creative Ireland.

Kilkenny shop fronts


The Desmond Guinness Scholarship committee also recognised Deborah White’s application with a commendation and a grant. Deborah White is a PhD student at the Ulster University, whose thesis is providing an examination of hand-woven linen damask production and design in Ireland. Deborah’s research is being conducted under the supervision of Professor Karen Fleming.

The Desmond Guinness Scholarship committee have awarded a grant toward the technical investigation and analysis of a linen damask tablecloth point paper design (mise-en-carte) sold by Henry McCleary of Waringstown at Mountrath Street, Dublin in 1740.

This mise-en-carte is believed to be the earliest extant example of this kind of point paper design in Ireland, and Deborah anticipates that her research will help illuminate our understanding of linen damask design in eighteenth century Ireland, a trade then in its nascency, and now recognised by historians of material culture to be of international significance.

Deborah White

The Irish Georgian Society would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who applied for the scholarship in 2022.

The Society would also like to extend our gratitude to the Desmond Guinness Scholarship assessors (Professor Christine Casey, TCD; Associate Professor Alison FitzGerald, Maynooth University; Dr David Fleming, UL; Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty, UCD; Associate Professor Conor Lucey, UCD; Dr Anna Moran, NCAD; and Primrose Wilson, OBE) for their generosity in sharing their academic expertise and investing their time in evaluating the applications.