Dear Members and Visitors,

Please be advised that our staff will continue working from home and both the RSAI office and library will remain closed to the public until further notice. We will resume our normal opening hours as soon as it safe to do so.

Unfortunately, we are obliged to cancel our Spring lecture series and upcoming Spring Excursion to county Wexford. With further government restrictions in place, we decided that suspending our current programme of lectures and events is the most appropriate measure to help minimise the spread of the coronavirus. The talks and lectures scheduled for April and May 2020 will be postponed until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding.

The RSAI Team

Outing B: St Luke’s, The Coombe, Dublin 8 led by Mr Charles Duggan, DCC, and Mr Derek Tynan, DTA Architects

Outing B: St Luke’s, The Coombe, Dublin 8 led by Mr Charles Duggan, DCC, and Mr Derek Tynan, DTA Architects

Friday 16 October 2020: In November 2017, building contractors JJ Rhatigan completed a 13-month restoration and repurposing of a 17th century Huguenot Church on Newmarket Square, Dublin 8, into a three-storey modern office. The reconstruction works was carried out by DTA Architects in association with Carrig Conservation.

We will meet at 2.30 pm at Thomas Burgh House, Newmarket Square, Dublin 8.

Cost: €10

Please note: the charge for outings is non-refundable.

Outing B

CANCELLED: Outing A: Walking tour of Rathmines, Dublin 6 led by Mr Mr Séamas Ó Maitiú



Outing A: Walking tour of Rathmines, Dublin 6 led by Mr Mr Séamas Ó Maitiú

Saturday 28 March 2020: Mr Mr Séamas Ó Maitiú, historian, will take us on a tour of Rathmines, introducing some hidden treasures of the area.

We will meet at 11 am outside Church of Mary Immaculate, Refuge of Sinners, Lower Rathmines Rd, Dublin 6.


POSTPONED UNTIL JUNE 2021: Explorers’ Excursion to North/East Down — Ards Peninsula led by Prof. Jim McAdam

Explorers’ Excursion to East Down and the Ards Peninsula
with Prof Jim McAdam, RSAI Vice President for Ulster

25-27 June 2021

This year we are pleased to invite members who are interested in an active and outdoor excursion to take part in a three-day, two-night trip to a relatively unexplored part of Ulster: East Down and the Ards Peninsula around the shores of Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea.

This excursion is for independently-minded members as own transport (or carpooling with other members) is required throughout.

The current schedule for the three-day (two-night) excursion is as follows:

Day 1: We will meet in the small coastal village of Dundrum, just north of Newcastle Co Down, for lunch at 1pm. We will then visit Dundrum Castle, built by the Norman, John de Courcy after his invasion of Ulster in 1177. Following lunch, onwards to a fine example of a stone circle site at Ballynoe and some of the many St Patrick-related sites in the area. Members will continue to the picturesque village of Strangford to take their cars on the short ferry crossing across the Narrows of Strangford Lough to our destination at Portaferry, where we have been booked into the Portaferry Hotel and the nearby Barholm Hostel and The Narrows Guesthouse.

Day 2: The group will travel to a range of fascinating archaeological sites on the Ards Peninsula. These may include: the Late Neolithic cairn at Millin Bay on the Irish Sea coast; the motte and bailey and medieval church at Ardkeen; a fully restored grain windmill, typical of the agricultural heritage of the area; the Cistercian Abbey at Greyabbey (built by the wife of John de Courcy); the National Trust house and gardens at Mountstewart. We will return to the Portaferry Hotel for dinner.

Day 3: The final leg of the journey will take us around the shores of Strangford Lough to the early Monastic settlement at Nendrum via the Market Cross and Dominican Priory at Newtownards. Members can eat locally on the western shore of Strangford Lough and/or depart for Dublin at their leisure. If you are considering a longer stay in the area there is more to see and do and we will be happy to advise you.

As always, excursion programmes are subject to change due to weather and other circumstances. As this excursion will primarily take place outdoors please ensure that you have appropriate waterproof clothing and that you are prepared for walking.


You are kindly requested to book your own accommodation directly with the hotels.

Additional charge of €200 payable to the RSAI to cover the cost of: 1 dinner, 2 lunches, all entrance fees, gifts for speakers and guides and other administration costs.

We have reserved rooms in the following venues for the RSAI members:

The Portaferry Hotel
Address: 10 The Strand, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1PE, United Kingdom
Email: info@portaferryhotel.com
Phone: +44 28 4272 8231

The Portaferry Hotel offers 15 rooms ranging in price from £280 to 340 for total stay (single, twin, double and family rooms) – a reduction of £20 per room will be offered on any single occupancy rooms.

Barholm Hostel
Address: 11 The Strand, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1PF, United Kingdom
Email: info@barholmportaferry.co.uk
Phone: +44 28 4272 9967

Barholm has 8 en-suite rooms available ranging in price from £45 to £75 per night.

The Narrows Guesthouse
Address: 8 Shore Rd, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1JY, United Kingdom
Email: info@barholmportaferry.co.uk
Phone: +44 28 4272 9967

The Narrows has 6 ensuite rooms available from £50 to £74 per night.

Barholm and Narrows Guesthouses are located within a minute walk from Portaferry Hotel.

Please make your booking directly with the hotels before informing the RSAI office of your booking.

Please note: the charge for excursions is non-refundable.

Explorers’ Excursion 2020

Autumn Excursion to Tullynally Castle and Fore Abbey, Co. Westmeath

We are now taking bookings for our Autumn Excursion, which will visit Tullynally Castle and the nearby Fore Abbey in County Westmeath.

The coach will depart from Society House at 9.30am sharp and go directly to Tullynally Castle, where we will stop for a short tea/coffee break. Afterwards, we will embark on a castle tour of the grand rooms and the Victorian servants’ quarters. The tour will include a meeting with a member of the Pakenham family who still reside in the castle.

Lunch will hosted in the Castle’s Tearooms. Following that, we will depart for a site visit to Fore Abbey. Our coach will return to Merrion Square by approx. 6pm.

The cost of the excursion is €60 for members and €65 for guests to include cost of coach, tours and lunch.

Please note: the charge for excursion is non-refundable.



Autumn Excursion 2020