Irish Georgian Society – The Place Where Daniel O’Connell was Elected
Irish Georgian Society, located on South William Street, promotes the protection of Ireland’s architectural heritage and its decorative arts.
The restoration of the City Assembly House was undertaken by the Society in association with Dublin City Council in recent years. “We do it through various programs, we run conservation programs, events and scholarship programs and support major conservation programs like this. The City Assembly House and the room are named after Daniel O’Connell, who was elected as Lord Mayor in the 19th Century in this building,” says Donough Cahill, the executive director of the Irish Georgian Society.
Built in 1760’s by the organization called The Society of Arts in Ireland, this was the first purpose-built public art gallery in Ireland. The house was built in two parts, one of which is the large octagonal exhibition room where they held annual exhibitions. The architects of this build were true cultural innovators.
They constructed the other section of the building facing South William Street, and that served as the Academy for the Arts. In the following two centuries, the building served as the home for the Dublin City Council where Daniel O’Connell was elected as the first catholic Mayor of Dublin city.
In 1852 the council moved from these premises to City Hall on Dame Street and in subsequent years the building became a courthouse. Through the 20th Century it served as the Dublin Civic Museum, which many people will recall for having an eclectic collection of interesting artifacts. However, this then closed in 2003 and the building remained shut for ten years.
Through the partnership of Irish Georgian Society and Dublin City council it’s once again being vitalized and become a home for culture for the celebration of artists of Ireland, home for lectures and it’s also now the headquarters for the Irish Georgian Society.
The City Assembly House is open to the public six days a week, and seven days during exhibitions.
Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm – 6pm (during exhibition hours only)