Knight of Glin book launch

A NEW book chronicling the life and times of the late Knight of Glin, Desmond FitzGerald by former journalist Robert O'Byrne has been launched in Dublin.

Family and friends of 29th Knight of Glin gathered in the City Assembly House on Wednesday night where Minister for Arts and Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, officially launched the book, which presents a fascinating portrait of a very distinctive Irish man, right from his early school days to his death in 2011.

Speaking at Wednesday night's launch, Minister Deenihan paid tribute to the former president of the Irish Georgian Society, who he said worked tirelessly to ensure a future for the country's architectural heritage.

"As an architectural and art historian, he was among the first to recognise and celebrate the work of Irish artists and craftsmen, bringing this to the attention of an international audience. These memoirs celebrate his many diverse achievements prior to his death in September, 2011."

In the book - The Last Knight - A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald 29th Knight of Glin - Robert O'Byrne not only celebrates his great public legacy, but also assesses the man himself. He has spoken to a wide range of family, friends and colleagues from Mr Fitzgerald's school days onwards and read many of his letters and papers, all of which make for a fascinating story.

As well as touching on the late Knight's involvement with organisations such as the Irish Georgian Society and the Irish Architectural Archive, it also tells how he battled to save his ancestral home, Glin Castle, from destitution and in doing so ensured the survival of many other historic houses in Ireland.

The proceeds of this beautifully crafted book, which is currently on sale nationwide at a cost of €25, will go towards the continued support of the Irish Georgian Society.