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.

IGS Conservation Grants 2022/23


Posted by IGS

St George's Arts & Heritage Centre
St George's Arts & Heritage Centre, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

The IGS gathered in Saint George’s Arts & Heritage Centre in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork on 11th October to celebrate the projects supported through its Conservation Grant Programme in 2022 and 2023. Primrose Wilson, IGS Vice-President, thanked IGS London for its essential support in funding the programme and congratulated them in marking the 10th anniversary of its launch. She also reflected on the generosity of the late Homan Potterton through whom the Society has been able to assist conservation projects in counties Meath and Westmeath, and commended IGS members in the US for their continued support of conservation projects in Ireland. She also strongly endorsed the work of the YIGs in raising funds for conservation projects through their events.


IGS London

Fiddown Church, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny (building report) €3,500
Temple Mills House, Co. Kildare (repairs to cast iron pedestrian bridge) €3,500
St George’s Art & Heritage Centre, Co. Cork (repairs to Gothic window) €4,000
Coollatin House, Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow (roof repairs in west wing) €4,000
Altidore Castle, Kilpedder, Co. Wicklow (repairs to external lime render) €4,000
Ballintemple House, Garvagh, Co Londonderry (repairs to front door) €700
Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Co. Cork (window repairs) €3,000
St Stephen’s Church, Mount Street Crescent, Dublin (railing repairs) €5,000
Civic Trust House, Pope’s Quay, Cork (window repairs) €5,000
Gatelodge, Temple House, Ballymote, Co. Sligo (window repairs) €2,250

Homan Potterton

7 Arch Bridge, Trim, Co. Meath (repairs to walls) €2,000
Malone Mausoleum, Co. Westmeath (external repairs) €4,000
Larchill Arcadian Gardens, Co. Meath (repairs to gazebo folly) €1,000
Mount Dalton, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (general conservation works) €3,000

IGS Inc (US)

Hindu Gothic Gateway, Dromana, Co. Waterford (building report) €3,200
Roundwood House, Mountrath, Co Laois (structural repairs) €7,500


St Pauls Church, Cahir, Co. Tipperary (window repairs) Sum to be determined


IGS London

Clonalis House, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon (window repairs) €4,000
Beaulieu House: Drogheda, Co Louth (dendrochronological survey) €1,340
Kilrush House, Freshford, Co Kilkenny (repairs to roof lantern) €4,000
St Philip’s Parochial Hall, Dartry, Dublin 6 (general repairs) €2,500
7 Arch Bridge, Trim, Co Meath (restoration of the buttresses) €3,000
Jamesbrook Hall, Midleton, Co. Cork (repair of porch windows) €1,000
Kildrought House, Celbridge, Co Kildare (window repairs) €3,000
Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Co Cork (window repairs) €2,000
Saint George’s Arts & Heritage Centre (repairs to chancel window) €3,000
Bantry House, Bantry, Co. Cork (repairs to balustrades) €4,000
34 Main Street, Chapelizod, Dublin 20 (general repairs) €2,500
Russborough House, Co. Wicklow (drawing room decorative scheme) €1,000
Headfort House, Kells, Co. Meath (window repairs) €4,000

Homan Potterton Grants

St Mary’s Church, Navan, Co. Meath (repairs to clock and bells) €3,000
Tullynally Castle, Co Westmeath (repairs to cast iron gates) €5,000
Malone Mausoleum, Co. Westmeath (conservation report) €2,000

YIGs project

Termon House, Co. Donegal (external works) €1,720

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Kingdom of Skills exhibition launched by Minister Noonan


Posted by IGS

Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister for State for Heritage launches Kingdom of Skills: traditional building skills demonstrations & conservation talks at Kery’s Muckross Traditional Farms, Saturday 30th September 2023.

Last Saturday 30th September Minister Noonan launched the Kingdom of Skills exhibition at Muckross Traditional Farms to an engaged and appreciative gathering of skilled traditional building practitioners, conservation professionals, and owners and guardians of traditionally built buildings. Minster Noonan was welcomed to the county by Kerry County Council's Leas-Chathaoirleach, John O’Donoghue and thanked by Irish Georgian Society Executive Director, Donough Cahill.

The Kingdom of Skills exhibition, which was an action of the Irish Georgian Society's Conservation Education Programme, represented a successful partnership between the Society, Kerry County Council and the Trustees of Muckross House. The exhibition formed part of the Architecture Kerry festival overseen by Kerry County Council’s dynamic Architectural Conservation & Heritage Officer, Victoria McCarthy. Critical to successful delivery of the Kingdom of Skills exhibition was the partnering with the Trustees of Muckross House, who provided the most fitting of venues, Muckross Traditional Farms, where the Society was generously hosted by its manager, Toddy Doyle and his team.

For the two-days of the Kingdom of Skills exhibition, Muckross Traditional Farms become a one-stop destination for old buildings owners in need of accurate, impartial and free advice on their care and repair.

The Society wishes to extend a huge thank you to all the craftspeople who actively demonstrated key traditional building skills needed for the conservation and maintenance of old building:

The exhibition was further greatly enhanced by information stands presented by the below organisations:

At this year's traditional building skills exhibition there was an emphasis placed on generating an awareness of opportunities for training and avenues for careers in the traditional building skills sector. The Society was delighted that Kerry College of Further Education mounted two demonstrations showcasing the courses they offer in stone masonry and carving (tutor: Tom Little) and traditional stone wall construction (tutor: Donal Corcoran).

Additionally, the Office of Public Works’ National MonumentsMuckross depot mounted a demonstration of stonecutting and stonemasonry at the exhibition with OPW District Inspector Maurice FitzGerald emphasising traditional skills apprenticeships opportunities.

This was further complemented by The Prince’s Foundation – All-Ireland Heritage Skills Programme stand manned by its programme coordinator, Hugh Kavanagh. Now embarking on its third year, the programme, which is supported by the Heritage Council and the Historic Environment Division, NI, provides a yearlong fulltime course aimed at those with experience in craft areas (such as stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery, bricklaying, blacksmithing, plastering, thatching, roofing) wishing to develop their craft with a focus towards heritage and traditional methods. Successful applicants are provided with a generous bursary, and benefit from both practical work placements and study modules in both Ireland and the UK.

Complementary to the training and apprenticeships showcased at the Kingdom of Skills exhibition was the presence of the CIF’s Register of Heritage Contractors where their manager Gillian Ross was on hand throughout the weekend to inform those with requisite traditional building skills of the benefits of joining this accredited register.

In tandem with the demonstrations there were two full days of free hourly talks delivered by conservation experts which celebrated Kerry’s built heritage and provide advice on best practice repair, restoration or retrofitting. We wish to thank all the speakers who gave presentations on the following topics :

  • Carl Raftery, Architectural Conservation Advisor, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Improving Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings Guidance.
  • Tríona Byrne, Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council, A Greener Legacy: navigating the intersection of sustainability & old buildings.
  • Frank Keohane, Chartered Historic Building Surveyor, The Importance of Preventative Maintenance & Dealing with Damp in your Traditionally Built House.
  • Jacqui Donnelly, Senior Architect, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, My Building is a Protected Structure: What does that mean? understanding built heritage policy and legislation. (*delivered by colleague Carl Raftery)
  • Dr Nessa Roche, Senior Architectural Advisor, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage Historic Windows: their significance, history & conservation. (*delivered by colleague, Nicola Matthews, Senior Architect, Dept.HLGH)
  • Kevin Blackwood, RIAI Conservation Architect Grade I, Principal of Blackwood Associates Architects and member of RIAI Historic Buildings Committee, Muckross Demesne: case studies of best architectural conservation practice demonstrated & biodiversity considered.
  • Tom McGimpsey, RIAI Conservation Architect Grade I, Principal, MESH Architects and committee member of the Building Limes Forum Ireland, The Importance of Using Lime in Historic Buildings.
  • David Skinner, wallpaper maker, conservator and researcher and author, Wallpaper in Irish Rural Houses: transience and memory.
  • Dr Barry O'Reilly, Architectural Conservation Advisor, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Understanding and Minding Kerry’s Vernacular Buildings.
  • Dr Claudia Kinmonth, Member of the Royal Irish Academy, furniture & art historian, Understanding & Conserving Authentic Furniture and Interiors in Kerry's Farmhouses.
  • Mary Sheehan, District Conservation Officer for Killarney National Park (NPWS) Making Sense of Place – the complementary linkages of our cultural, built and natural heritage in Killarney National Park.
  • Dr Fidelma Mullane, cultural geographer specialising in the study and conservation of vernacular architecture, President of ICOMOS Ireland, Irish Thatched Houses: Kerry’s regional styles & materials.
  • Ken Curran, dry stone waller and stone mason, committee member of Dry Stone Wall Association Ireland, Dry Stone Narratives of County Kerry & the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Dry Stone Construction.

In addition to wishing to thank all those who lent their expertise by demonstrating, manning information stands and delivering talks, the Society wishes to thank our partners and funders, Kerry County Council and the Trustees of Muckross House, as well as acknowledged the vital support of grant aid received from The Heritage Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Creative Ireland.

Top image: Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister for Heritage, at the forge of master blacksmith Tom Allison at the launch of the Kingdom of Skills, Muckross Traditional Farms. Photo by Valerie O'Sullivan.

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New Challenges Face Castletown


Posted by IGS

Castletown House

In July 2022 the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) strongly supported what was a Golden Opportunity for the State to acquire lands around Castletown that would have protected the setting of the house and reunited it with its parklands some 50 years after they had been severed. It is a huge regret that this acquisition didn’t happen and that the lands remain in private ownership. Indeed, the very closure of access to the demesne from the M4 motorway demonstrates most clearly why an area of such significant heritage interest should be in public ownership.

To ensure any temporary works to address this matter do not become permanent in nature, all options to provide a long-term solution must be explored, including the acquisition of the lands by compulsory purchase order.

Castletown is a national treasure that was saved by Desmond Guinness in the 1960s and restored by the OPW from the 1990s onwards at great public expense. The campaign to fully protect it for the future generations continues.

Image: Castletown House by Anne Brady.

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Wind Up! Susan Wood Photographs: 1960s and beyond


Posted by IGS

Wind Up

The City Assembly House is hosting a retrospective of acclaimed photographer Susan Wood’s seven decades of work. Projected as a slide show on five walls, the exhibition presents her work like never before, promising viewers a unique experience. A mix of never-before-seen professional and personal work taken from a life behind the camera lens. Gathered from Susan’s extensive archive by curator Anthony Catania, Re/Collection celebrates her pursuit of beauty in the people, places, and objects she photographs.

Dates: Friday 23rd June to Friday 21st July (Mon-Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 12pm to 5pm)

About Susan

Susan Wood (born in New York City on 3/25/32) is an American photographer most notable for her photography on location with the 1969 “Road Movie” “Easy Rider” starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and her portraits of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol, John Wayne, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Joseph Heller, Betty Friedan, Norman Mailer, and David Hockney, amongst others.

Her “life style” work during a span of 50 years - photographing families, individuals , their homes, gardens and careers - which she portrayed on assignments for Look, Vogue, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Ladies Home Journal, McCalls, Esquire, Coronet Gentlemen,s Quarterly, New York Magazine, People and in England, the Weekend Telegraph, British Vogue, and Queen -documented the tastes and look of those times….The 50ties,60ties, 70ties, 80ties and 90ties.

Her work with famous chefs, food and food writers for magazines and books, introduced a new approach to food photography, it was more painterly with softer, appealing use of color , light and compressed depth of field, relating the images more to Oriental perspective than western. These works were generally done on assignment for Vogue and House and Garden, Some of the famous, their food and restaurants and nightlubs she photographed were Regone of Regines, the family owners (name?) and staff and food of Grenouille, Cepe Rengle, Four Seasons and Windows on World.

A Vogue magazine assignment to catch the life spirit of Grenouille, a famous 5 star French NYC restaurant notable for dramatic fresh flower displays piqued her interest in finding a unique and dramatic way to photograph flowers. Mary Kay Baumann art director of Geo admired her efforts and pushed her further in that pursuit assigning her to a story for Geo titled Nature’s Pharmacie – resulting in 8 double page spreads of medicinal plants as humble as dandolion and grand as orchids. Susan regards herself in this phase of her work as the direct descendant of the 18th and 19th century botanical illustrators such as Audabon and Redon.

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Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister of State for Heritage launches the IGS & NIAH Vernacular Architecture Study Day.


Posted by IGS

Minister Noonan Vernacular Architecture
Minister Noonan launches the Vernacular Architecture study day at the City Assembly House (right to left: Emmeline Henderson, Rose Ryall, Dr Barry O’Reilly, Sarah Jane Halpin, Dr Fidelma Mullane, Minister Noonan, Donough Cahill and Dr Bairbre Ní Fhloinn)

On Tuesday 27th June, IGS Executive Director, Donough Cahill welcomed Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister of State for Heritage to the City Assembly House, where Minister Noonan delivered the opening address at the Irish Georgian Society and National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s Appreciating and Minding our Vernacular Architecture study day.

The study day formed an action of the Irish Georgian Society’s Conservation Education Programme which is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and overseen by the IGS’s Assistant Director & Conservation Manager, Emmeline Henderson.

The study day was co-convened by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Architectural Conservation Advisors Dr Barry O’Reilly and Sarah Jane Halpin.

The full capacity in person audience and the many who joined online comprised both owners and occupiers of vernacular buildings, as well as heritage professionals and practitioners responsible for their maintenance and care: with formal Continuing Professional Development received from the Construction Industry Federation, Engineers Ireland, the Register of Heritage Contractors and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

The Society would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the speakers: Tony Donoghue, independent film maker & furniture conservator; Sarah Jane Halpin, NIAH, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Dr Moses Jenkins, Historic Environment Scotland; Dr Fidelma Mullane, vernacular consultant; Rachel McKenna, Architectural Conservation Officer, Offaly County Council; Duncan McLaren, Dedalus Architects; Richard McLoughlin, Lotts Architecture & Urbanism; Anna Meenan, The Heritage Council; Dr Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, UCD; Tom Pollard, conservation stonemason; and Dr Barry O’Reilly (keynote speaker), NIAH, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for their considerable generosity in sharing their passion and expert knowledge of the many facets of Ireland’s vernacular architecture.

The study day was also greatly enhanced by the Chairs (Helena Bergin, Architectural Conservation Officer, Fingal Co. Council; Dr Joe Gallagher, Heritage Officer, Donegal Co. Council; & Rose Ryall, Architectural Conservation Officer, Waterford Co. Council) all of whom in their capacity as Architectural Conservation Officers and Heritage Officers have been to the fore in promoting vernacular architecture and traditional building skills at a county level.

The speakers’ presentations provided new research and fresh insights into the history and conservation of Ireland’s built vernacular heritage.

Additionally invaluable advice on the materials and methods used to build, repair and retrofit these vernacular structures was gained; and information on the many policies, initiatives and funding in place, at both central and local government level was provided.

It was also most interesting to gain an appreciation of the issues relating to understanding our vernacular architecture in the context of our intangible heritage and better understand the significance of their interiors and traditional furniture found in these buildings.

The Society wishes to thank all those involved in lending their support to making the vernacular architecture study day such a success. We trust that it represents a meaningful contribution towards raising recognition of this important and unique aspect of Ireland’s built heritage; and promoting its conservation and preservation.

Lastly, and importantly, the Irish Georgian Society would like to acknowledge The Heritage Council for their support of all the Society’s activities received through its Heritage Capacity Fund 2023.

If you missed the study day then it is possible to subscribe to watch the recording, which will be available to view until the 27th July.

The full programme with speakers’ abstracts and biography can be downloaded here.

Vernacular Architecture study day audience at the City Assembly House
Vernacular Architecture study day audience at the City Assembly House

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Irish Georgian Society Conservation Grants Programme 2023


Posted by IGS

Grants cover image

IGS conservation grant pledges clockwise from top left: Dromdiah House, Co. Cork; Larchill Arcadian Gardens, Co. Kildare; St Eugene's Church, Co. Tyrone; Temple House, Co. Sligo; and Termon House, Co. Donegal.

The Irish Georgian Society is inviting applications for its Conservation Grants Programme 2023 with submissions accepted until Monday 20st February. A total of €45,000 will be available which will comprise €35,000 from IGS London and €10,000 through the Homan Potterton Conservation Grant.

Structures of architectural interest from across the country are eligible for funding from IGS London while the Homan Potterton Conservation Grant is available only to Georgian buildings of architectural merit anywhere in the counties of Meath or Westmeath.

Since 2014 the Irish Georgian Society’s Conservation Grants Programme has been funded by IGS London during which time support has been given to over fifty conservation projects. These have included country houses, thatched cottages, townhouses, architectural follies, and churches with grants awarded for repairs to roofs, windows and rainwater goods, support for conservation plans and building appraisals, and for other essential conservation works.

In 2022 the Society pledged grants for the following projects:

IGS London grants

  • Clonalis House, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon: €4,000
  • Beaulieu House: Drogheda, Co Louth: €1,340
  • Kilrush House, Freshford, Co Kilkenny: €4,000
  • St Philip’s Parochial Hall, Temple Road, Dartry, Dublin 6: €2,500
  • 7 Arch Bridge, Trim, Co Meath: €3,000
  • Jamesbrook Hall, Midleton, Co. Cork: €1,000
  • Kildrought House, Celbridge, Co Kildare: €3,000
  • Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Co Cork: €2,000
  • Saint George’s Arts & Heritage Centre, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork: €3,000
  • Bantry House, Bantry, Co. Cork: €4,000
  • 34 Main Street, Chapelizod, Dublin 20: €2,500
  • Russborough House, Blessington, Co. Wicklow: €1,000
  • Headfort House, Kells, Co. Meath: €4,000

Homan Potterton Conservation Grants 2022

  • St Mary’s Church, Navan, Co. Meath: €3,000
  • Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath: €5,000
  • Malone Mausoleum: Kilbixy, Co. Westmeath: €2,000

Applications for the 2023 grants programme must be submitted by 5pm on Monday 20th February with forms available to download here.

For articles on previous grants recipients, please click  here.

Decisions on the allocation of grants will be made by mid April at which time applicants will be informed.

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