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October 30, 2008

Book marks 50 years of Georgian Society

A new book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Irish Georgian Society gives an “insightful account of this special period in Ireland’s history,” its founder Desmond Guinness has said. Mr Guinness said that the history, written by Robert O’Byrne, would be treasured for years. The book was launched in the National Library last night. “The society has flourished throughout the years, working tirelessly to highlight the beauty of our architecture,” Mr Guinness said. “Today there is a far greater appreciation of our architectural heritage.” O’Byrne’s history, The Irish Georgian Society, A Celebration , documents its work since its foundation and its campaigns to preserve buildings from that period and protect them from destruction. The book chronicles the history of the society since Desmond and Marina Guinness wrote a letter to The Irish Times proposing the formation of the society “to fight for what is left of Georgian architecture in Ireland”. It details its many campaigns, including the success in preserving Castletown House, Ireland’s finest Palladian mansion; Damer House, Co Tipperary; Roundwood House, Co Laois; Doneraile Court, Co Cork, and Tailor’s Hall, Dublin. There is also a full account of the unsuccessful battle to prevent the demolition of 16 Georgian houses on Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, to make way for the ESB’s headquarters. O’Byrne describes what occurred as “an act of vandalism”.

The Irish Times