In this Section -
Ireland's oldest arts charity
NEWS AND EVENTS
It is with profound regret that the President and Council of FNCI announce the death of our esteemed former President and Council Member, Dr. Thomas Ryan RHA 1929-2021.
We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Our New President
At our Annual General Meeting in April, 2021 (held by Zoom because of Covid-19 health restrictions, which also prevented us from holding an AGM in 2020) Dr John Turpin was elected as President of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland. He succeeds Dr Tom Ryan, RHA, who has retired.
Dr Turpin attended the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, was appointed professor of the history of art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 1975 and was director of the college from 1989 to 1994. He has published extensively on the history of Irish art and recently wrote the two volume History of the Royal Hibernian Academy. He has served a previous term as president of the FNCI.
Our outgoing president, the distinguished painter Dr Tom Ryan, RHA , is a former president of the Royal Hibernian Academy and is the first professional artist to have been president of the FNCI since Dermod O'Brien in the 1940s.
Ms June Lattimore was re-elected as Honorary Secretary and Dr Michael Burns was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer.
For a full list of the members of Council, click on ABOUT.
A Generous Bequest
The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland have received a generous bequest under the will of our former president, the late Dr John Maiben Gilmartin. It is very much appreciated, and will greatly assist us in our work, which has too often been frustrated through lack of funds.
John joined the Friends while still a student, was an active and erudite member of Council
for many years and was our president on two occasions, most recently from 2016 to 2018. It was entirely in character that his will should reflect his public spirit and philanthropy, with thoughtfully chosen gifts of paintings, sculpture and interesting objects left by him to a range of national and regional cultural institutions in Dublin, Sligo, Waterford and
elsewhere. His contribution to the work of the Friends deserves to be commemorated,
and Council is considering how best to do this.
The Work Goes On
Although the current Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have curtailed the FNCI's normal programme of visits and social events for its members, we have not allowed it to stop us from continuing to acquire works to donate to national and regional cultural institutions.
For details of what we have been doing, please click on DONATIONS.
We hope that circumstances will allow us to resume our social activities in the autumn.
In the meantime we are extremely grateful to loyal members who have continued to
pay the annual subscription.
Give a Friend a Gift of FNCI Membership
Brighten somebody’s life throughout the year with a subscription to the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland (FNCI).
Individual: = €40
Student: = €20
Family: = €60
Life Membership: = €500
Corporate Membership: = €600
Your much-appreciated gift will provide an opportunity to meet our members and to join in some truly memorable events during the year ahead.
Just send a cheque or debit card details to:
The Honorary Treasurer,
P.O. Box 11481,
giving us the name and address of the person you want to receive this gift and leave the rest to us.
'75 Years of Giving'.
A beautiful publication celebrating 75 years of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland is now available, Read it Here.
2020 Garden Party Cancelled
The Annual Garden Party has been cancelled due to Coronavirus. Read More...
Festive Lunch 2019
The Festive Lunch took place on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Summer Garden Party 2019
The Friends' summer Garden Party took place this year on June 15th at Altidore Castle, Kilpedder, County Wicklow. Our hosts, Philip and Vicky Emmet, welcomed members and their guests who had come by coach and car. A beautiful high summer day -with a single five minute shower to emphasise our good luck with the weather - enabled us to wander around the terraced garden and admire the striking turreted house. Altidore Castle was built around 1730 for General Thomas Pearce. The Emmet family, who have lived here since 1934 and farm the place organically, are direct descendants of the elder brother of the United Irishman, Robert Emmet. Thomas Addis, on his release from prison after the 1798 Rebellion went into exile in the United States where the family became prominent in medicine and the law.
A splendid spread of varied sandwiches, strawberries and cream, accompanied by Pimms and wine, soon received our close attention in the shade of the tented gazebo -this year enlarged to accommodate our members -which was again provided by Council member Anne Kearney Farrelly and Adrian. Contented murmuring followed.
Our hosts kindly showed us around their lovely house. As well as interesting furniture (including a splendid army officer's campaign chest with twin drawers impartially accommodating bottles of port in one drawer and a fitted commode in the other) the family have some unusual and touching mementos of their ancestor.
The much anticipated raffle then took place. As is always the case with FNCI raffles the prizes, which were donated by members, were numerous and valuable. It raised a goodly sum for our work.
The day was a great success. Our thanks are due to all who organised it, as well as to Philip and Vicky Emmet and their family.
Visit to Trim Castle and Killua Castle, County Meath Saturday October 19th, 2019
With lunch in Trim Castle Hotel.
Visit to The Hunt Museum, Limerick Wednesday September 25th 2019
Guided Tour of the Summer Exhibition: Lavery & Osborne: Observing Life.
VISIT to the Tenement Museum and Mark Dion Exhibition
Wednesday 29 May, 2019
Visit to Counties Westmeath and Kildare.
Saturday, March 30th, 2019.
Visit to Northern Ireland.
Saturday, October 6th, 2018.
Visit to the National Museum, Collins Barracks.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018.
Festive Lunch 2018.
Saturday, November 24th, 2018.
Visit to Russborough House.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018. Meet at Russborough House in The Brambles Tea Rooms 10.15 am for Tea/Coffee and Scones followed by a guided tour of the house.
Visit to Counties Louth and Meath.
Wednesday March 28th, 2018. A guided tour of Townley Hall, lunch at Slane Castle followed by a guided tour of the castle.
Visit to Sir Denis Mahon Reading Room.
Tuesday February 27th, 2018. An afternoon visit to the Sir Denis Mahon Reading Room, No. 90 Merrion Square.
Festive lunch 2017 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club Dun Laoghaire
Saturday, November 25th, 2017.
On Saturday, 25 November 2017, the annual FNCI festive lunch was held in the wonderful surroundings of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.
Events committee member Ms Anne Kearney Farrelly was the organiser of this very popular event which again proved to be a great success, with over 70 members and guests attending. The staff at the club, under the management of Gareth McGinty esured that the excellent food and drink was served promptly and efficiently, contributing to a very enjoyable experience by all.
Guests were addressed by Dr John Maiben Gilmartin and the lunch was followed by a charming recital by Ireland’s best known harpist Dr Cliona Doris, Head of Orchestral Studies at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin. Her recital included a superb rendering of I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls or The Gipsy Girl's Dream, a popular aria from The Bohemian Girl, an 1843 opera by Michael William Balffe,with lyrics by Alfred Bunn.
Photography was kindly provided by member Mr Pearse Stokes