Professor Kevin B Nowlan
Professor Kevin B Nowlan who died on Feb. 4th. 2013 was one of Ireland's leading advocates for heritage protection and served as An Taisce president from 1983 to 1987. He will be remembered for his authoritative presence and great speaking voice at lectures, public meeting and planning hearings over the last half century. His greatest cause was the preservation of Georgian Dublin against dereliction, road widening and inappropriate development.
President of An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland , 1983-1988, Professor Emeritus of Modern Irish History UCD ,he was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Horary Member of the RIAI. He was also active in the Irish Georgian Society where he was Vice President, The Dublin Civic Trust, the Alfred Beit Foundation, the Upper Lesson Street Residents Association and many more civic and heritage organisations.
During his period as President of An Taisce in 1986 the 40th anniversary was celebrated and Kevin wrote an inspiring article entitled “This is true Patriotism” describing the work of An Taisce which was re published in the history of An Taisce by Valerie Bond and others, “The First Fifty Years”. In it he argued forcibly that An Taisce as the true defender of Ireland’s inheritance both natural and manmade is the embodiment of patriotic effort and ought to receive the tangible support of all in society.
Kevin was a member of the Tailors Hall Fund Ltd which was set up in 1966 as a coalition of interested organisations (including An Taisce) and some individuals to rescue The Tailors Hall from dereliction and demolition. In 1969 it achieved by community effort the very first restoration of a historic building in Ireland, long before any other organisation including the city or state became active in the restoration of historic buildings. Following restoration as President of An Taisce he was the person who received the keys to the building from the fund on behalf of An Taisce in 1984 and prior to that he was instrumental in negotiating its transfer to An Taisce to be used as its National Headquarters, to be held in trust on behalf of the people of Ireland.
In 1979 An Taisce was given The Grove in Morehampton Road to hold in perpetuity for the citizens of Dublin as a wildlife sanctuary by Kathleen Goodfellow in her will largely through Kevin’s efforts due to his involvement in the Upper Lesson Street Residents Association.
In 1985 An Taisce entered into the Castlehyde Agreement to safeguard Castlehyde Co Cork (now Michael Flatley’s home) from adverse development along with Cork County Council.
Of Prof Kevin B Knowlan it can be truly said “if you want my monument look around you” for his legacy includes not only the ownership in trust for the people of Ireland of The Tailors Hall and The Grove by An Taisce but also the current appreciation of the importance of historic Dublin, but also a balanced view of our past and the many organisations dedicated to the care of the heritage of Ireland in which he was active and which were strengthened by his efforts.
For further information, please call:
Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce Communications – Tel: 087 2411995
James Nix, Operations Director, An Taisce – Tel: 086 8394129
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland