Desmond FitzGerald, Knight of Glin RIP
The death of Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, has robbed Ireland of one of its most eminent academics in the fields of art, architecture, conservation and the decorative arts; he was a scholar of international importance.
We, in the Irish Georgian Society, will sorely miss him and will find it hard to come to terms with his absence as he has been involved with the Society since its early days and has been President for the last twenty years. Over this time, including over the last two years of ill health, he has worked indefatigably for the Society at home and abroad, particularly in the US.
A passionate man, the Knight tirelessly worked for the future of Irish country houses, their contents, parks and gardens showing the way with the restoration of Glin Castle, and making it home to his collection of Irish paintings, furniture and the decorative arts.
His unique contribution to Irish scholarship, indicated by the depth and breadth of his academic output (books, catalogues, articles), is awe-inspiring. What the Knight was equally well-know for was his generosity with his knowledge being willing to share with everyone from struggling student to academic colleague.
Desmond was a man of immense charm as well as erudition; he cherished his beloved wife, Olda, and daughters Catherine, Nesta and Honor. He was always a convivial and amusing companion, never shy of expressing his opinion and even in the midst of the odd tirade the glimmer of mischief was there as his humour and love of words removed any possible sting!
The Irish Georgian Society and Ireland has lost one it its titans and greatest champions of the arts and heritage.