Newlands Farm: Major plans outlined for Katharine Tynan House

 In a series of articles that look at all sides of the story, The Echo examines the proposed plan to seek to rezone the green belt between Tallaght and Clondalkin.

ONE of the key focal points of the Hibernia REIT site is the former home of Katharine Tynan, a prolific novelist and poet who hosted numerous literary greats, including William Butler Yeats and AE Russell, in her house in the late 1800s.

Whitehall House, known locally as Katharine Tynan House, has fallen into disrepair over the years, leading to repeated calls for it to be restored.

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Katharine Tynan House c1902

Hibernia’s plans for the house include reinstating the thatch roof, repairing the chimney stacks, reinstating the sash and bay windows, and landscaping works to reinstate the historic garden and paths.

According to the developer, proposed uses for Whitehall House include a facility for literature, education, community and art activities, corporate events, an enterprise centre, and fitness and meditation uses.

The Tallaght Historical Society has welcomed Hibernia’s plans, and they hope the house will become an important part of the community and will raise awareness about Katharine Tynan’s work and life.

Ken Harrington from the Tallaght Historical Society told The Echo: “Tallaght has a rich cultural heritage, but regretfully experienced the loss of significant historical buildings from our landscape.

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An artist impression of the works that is proposed to be carried out at Katharine Tynan House

“The slow decline of Whitehall, the home of one of Tallaght’s beacons of literature, is sad.

“The Society was contacted by Hibernia REIT, which recently acquired the land on which Whitehall is located, to seek our views to which this property could be put to use for the benefit of the local community.

“Hibernia were most interested in finding out more about Katharine Tynan and we will be arranging a virtual lecture for locals and Hibernia alike.

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Ken Harrington, PRO of the Tallaght Historical Society standing outside Katharine Tynan House

“Additionally, we had a discussion on possible future cultural happenings to celebrate Katharine Tynan and Tallaght with a writers’ festival.

“The Society is excited at the prospect of a dedicated cultural facility in an appropriately historical setting, and are supportive of Hibernia’s vision and commitment to deliver this facility in advance of any development on this site.”

Hibernia stated that they want to restore Katherine Tynan House as a community facility or heritage centre.

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