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The Venue

Honorary Life Members 2014


Baroness Nuala O'Loan DBE, MRIA

Nuala O'Loan was born and educated in Hertfordshire, England. She studied Law at King's College London, graduating in 1973, and became a Law lecturer in Northern Ireland. In 1977 she survived an IRA bombing at Ulster Polytechnic, Jordanstown.

She was appointed Police Ombudsman in 1999. In 2001, she was given the task of investigating and reporting on the RUC’s handling of the 1998 Omagh bombing. In 2008 she was appointed by the Irish Government as its first Roving Ambassador and Special Envoy for Conflict, focusing initially on East Timor. In July 2009 she was appointed to the House of Lords and subsequently was raised to the peerage as Lady O'Loan of Kirkinriola in the County of Antrim. In 2010 she was appointed Chair of the Governing Authority of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.

Other posts she has held include Chairman of the Northern Ireland Consumer Committee for Electricity, member of the General Consumer Council, legal expert member of the European Commission's Consumers Consultative Council, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Human Rights Enquiry, and Independent Custody Visitor to police stations.

Awards received include:

Person of the Year at Ireland's Annual People of the Year Awards; Honorary Doctor of Laws (University of Ulster); Honorary Doctorate of Laws (Higher Education and Technical Awards Council, Ireland); Honorary Doctorate of Laws (National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Honorary Doctorate of Laws (Queen's University Belfast); and membership of the Royal Irish Academy.

The Hon. Desmond Guinness

The Hon. Desmond Guinness is a renowned art historian, writer and conservationist. He is the second son of Bryan, Lord Moyne, and Diana Mitford and was educated at Eton, Gordonstoun and Christ Church, Oxford.

In 1958, with his first wife, Mariga, he founded the Irish Georgian Society. The principle aim of the Society is to promote awareness and the protection of Ireland's rich architectural heritage and decorative arts. Its many achievements include saving threatened great buildings such as Castletown in Co. Kildare, Damer House in Tipperary, the Conolly Folly (Kildare), Mountjoy Square and Tailors Hall in Dublin.

Desmond Guinness’s remarkable contribution to the conservation of Ireland’s architectural heritage has been widely recognised both at home and abroad. In 1980 he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Trinity College Dublin. In 2001 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. He is a recipient of the Eire Society of Boston Gold Medal and in 2006 he was presented with the Europa Nostra award.

The Desmond Guinness Scholarship is awarded annually by the Irish Georgian Society for research on the visual arts in Ireland including the work of Irish architects, artists and craftsmen at home and abroad, 1600-1900.


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