Call to restore house with literary links

by Mark O'Brien
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The Tallaght birthplace of an influential poet has been left in ruins and should be restored according to local residents.

The house, known as Whitehall, in Kingswood Heights, was the birthplace of Katharine Tynan.
She was a noted member of the Irish Literary Revival and a friend of W.B. Yeats and Charles Stewart Parnell.

Cllr Charlie O’Connor (FF) recently raised the issue at the Tallaght Area Committee meeting of South Dublin County Council.
He told Dublin Gazette that he felt it would be great for the area to see the house restored as a local place of interest.

“It’s a very historical site but you wouldn’t think it,” he said.
“If you go down there, the place is in ruins and it’s not very well kept.
“Tallaght didn’t just fall out of the sky 40 years ago. We do have a heritage, we do have a history and that’s a historical site that’s in a sad and ruinous condition and something should be done about it.”

The land that Whitehall is on is owned by the (IRFU), who bought it in the 1990s with the intention of developing the land.

The development never happened and the house – which it is believed was visited by Yeats and A.E. Russell among others – has since fallen into ruin, with fencing erected around it to prevent vandalism.

Cllr O’Connor said that he was hoping to meet the IRFU to raise the issue with them.
“They (the IRFU) haven’t done anything about it and nobody else has and meanwhile a really historic site has become really derelict.”

Local residents have also backed the idea.
Sharlene Kennedy, a lifelong Kingswood resident, told Dublin Gazette that she often brings her mother and daughter to the site of the house and would love to see it restored.
“It would be fantastic for it to be restored,” she said.

South Dublin County Council said that the site is in private ownership and as far as they are aware, there is no intention by the IRFU to develop the site.
A spokesperson for the IRFU hadn’t responded at the time of going to press.

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