Eighty eight members and guests attended the reunion held in Dublin, including members from Britain, Ireland, the USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. The reunion was held in Bewleys Hotel, Ballsbridge, a short distance from the city centre. The hotel, original parts of which formed the buildings of a former girls’ school, provided excellent facilities, food and service throughout the weekend.
On Friday afternoon three groups travelled in to Dublin for a guided walk of parts of Georgian Dublin. The guides, provided by Architecture Tours Ireland, provided detailed information about the development of the Georgian squares, focusing on Merrion Square. Unfortunately, the heavens opened so the tours were somewhat abbreviated.
On Saturday, in better weather, the three groups visited Trinity College Dublin for guided tours of the campus, led by post-graduate students. Detailed descriptions of the College buildings were combined with entertaining comments about past and recent developments. The tours were thoroughly enjoyed by all members.
A coach journey then took us south to Enniskerry and the Powerscourt Estate. A soup and sandwich lunch was provided by the Powerscourt Golf Club, a spectacularly beautiful course, though even the most avid golfers were astonished by the eye-watering cost of green fees, let alone membership.
The Powerscourt gardens lie a short walk from the golf club and members spent a leisurely couple of hours there, reputed to be one of the world’s top ten gardens.
A drive through the beautiful Wicklow mountains took us to Glendalough, the site of medieval monastic ruins, with an intact round tower, an iconic feature of many parts of Ireland. The towers were places of safety for the monks as the entry to the tower is many feet above the ground and accessible only by a long ladder. Once inside the tower, the ladder was hauled up leaving the monks safe.
Drinks receptions followed by dinner were arranged on both Friday and Saturday night. The Saturday dinner was held in the Prior Hall, a magnificent dining hall that was once the school assembly hall. Following dinner, the speaker was Professor Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland who provided insights into past and future developments in the Irish economy.
On Sunday morning the British Chapter AGM was held followed by lunch. The reunion ended at 3.00 pm.
Some members arriving early or staying on after the reunion took the opportunity to explore parts of Dublin including the Guinness brewery and Temple Bar, these days more bar(s) than temple. Some took the commuter train that runs along the coast to both the north and south of the city. Others travelled further afield to see a bit more of Ireland.