Call for historic home of renowned poet to be preserved and protected

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A LOCAL councillor is calling for the former home of renowned poet Katharine Tynan to be preserved and protected, after falling into disrepair in recent years.

Whitehall House, which is known locally as Katharine Tynan House, is located in Kingswood in Tallaght, and saw numerous literary greats, including William Butler Yeats and AE Russell pass through its doors in the late 1800s.

Katharine Tynan final

The site was purchased by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in 1994, who then sought planning permission for the demolition of the derelict house, but permission was refused after objections were lodged by the Tynan Society and the Kingswood Residents’ Association.

Since then, the house has remained idle and has fallen into a worsening state of disrepair.

Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor told The Echo: “I think it’s a shame.

“I often say that Tallaght didn’t fall out of the sky 50 years ago – it has a history and a heritage.

“This site is very historical and it’s a shame that it’s in the state that it’s in.

“It should be preserved and protected.”

In response to a motion tabled by Cllr O’Connor at last month’s Tallaght Area Committee meeting asking about the future of the house, South Dublin County Council stated: “The chief executive acknowledges the concerns of the local community and the local historic importance of the building due to its connection with the poet Katharine Tynan.

“The existing house known as ‘Whitehall House’ is a ruinous and derelict site and has been prior to 2002 – it remains surrounded by a perimeter security fence.

“Part IV of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) provides legislation pertaining to protected structures.

“We would welcome the restoration and re-use of the structure. However, there are no prescriptive measures to order the owner to restore and re-use the current structure, therefore it is a matter for the owners.

“The site is in private ownership and currently as far as the council are aware there is no intention by the owners to develop the site.”

The Echo contacted the IRFU for comment, but they did not respond in time for print.

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