City of Culture to celebrate its Georgian Buildings & Streets

Limerick City’s historic Georgian buildings and streets will be the focus of a City of Culture 2014 event taking place at The Hunt Museum this weekend.

The Irish Georgian Society and Limerick City and County Council will host two days of traditional building skills demonstrations and conservation talks in Europe’s most westerly Georgian City on Saturday and Sunday (10-11 May).

Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will officially open the event, which will also feature a guest presentation by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons about the restoration of his Irish tower house.

The event will feature over two dozen craftspeople demonstrating key traditional building skills needed for the conservation of old buildings, a guided architectural walking tour of Georgian Limerick, and expert advice on planning law, insurance and finance.

There will also be interactive talks on the history, maintenance and repair of old buildings by experts from organisations including The Heritage Council, Limerick City & County Council, The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland, Irish Georgian Society, Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Aegis Archaeology Ltd., and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Patrick Guinness, President of the Irish Georgian Society commented: "We are delighted to bring our annual traditional building skills exhibition to Limerick as part of City of Culture 2014. The city’s Georgian buildings and streets are of international significance and this exhibition presents a unique opportunity to view all the disciplines necessary for its conservation."

"We are grateful to the master craftspeople from joiners, masons, plasterwork conservators and blacksmiths who have agreed to demonstrate the cross section of skills needed for the conservation of the city’s rich built heritage. Bringing this exhibition to The Hunt Museum, Limerick’s splendid and historic Custom House, would not be possible without the critical support of Limerick City of Culture 2014 and Limerick City and County Council’s Office of Regeneration, who share the Society’s vision that our built heritage can act as a catalyst for physical, social and economic regeneration," added Mr. Guinness.

Seamus Hanrahan, Project Manager for the Regeneration Project at Limerick City and County Council described next week's event as a key showcase event for Limerick's built heritage and the important role of active historic buildings to a vibrant, diverse, living city.

He added: "Limerick City and County Council is firmly committed to the conservation and promotion of the city and county’s heritage and employs an Architectural Conservation Officer and Heritage Officer to enhance the level of understanding, conservation and preservation of Limerick’s built and natural heritage. While the focus is on the Georgian city, the programme for next week's event is diverse, ranging from talks on the archaeological heritage of King's Island to the refurbishment of 1930's social housing. The event should appeal to wide audience."

Speakers and topics being discussed next week include Dr. John Logan, Irish Georgian Society (Building the Limerick Custom House, 1764-70); Jim O’Donoghue, Killoran Slate Quarry (Conservation and Restoration of Old Slate and Tile Roofs); Willie Cumming, Senior Architect, NIAH, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage and the Limerick City & County Surveys); Colm Murray, Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council (Conservation Planning for Traditional Buildings: setting up repairs and improvements); and Tracy Collins, Director, Aegis Archaeology Ltd (A Tale of Three Cities: Development and Archaeology Strategy for King’s Island Limerick)

Limerick City’s Georgian Buildings & Streets takes place at The Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick City, on Saturday 10th May and Sunday 11th May. For more visit www.igs.ie.

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