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In February 1958 they announced plans to re-establish the Irish Georgian Society, a group that had created a photographic record of Dublin’s best Georgian buildings earlier in the century; this new version, Mr. Guinness wrote in The Irish Times, would “fight for the protection of what is left of Georgian architecture in Ireland.” The following month they began restoring a building of their own, Leixlip Castle, a dilapidated 12th-century fortress on 182 acres west of Dublin, which would be their home and the group’s headquarters.
Now observing its 50th year with a series of celebrations and a lavishly illustrated book, the revived Irish Georgian Society has been credited with restoring dozens of architectural gems across Ireland, from a former union hall for Dublin tailors to the country’s oldest Palladian house. (The society’s early preservation efforts focused on Georgian Dublin, but in later years it expanded its mission to cover noteworthy buildings from any period.) Perhaps more impressively, the group has helped bring about a national change of heart regarding Irish architecture.