Launch of ‘Round towers of Roscrea’

George Cunningham’s ‘the Round Tower at Roscrea and its Environs’ had its Dublin launch at St Patrick’s College last week.

George Cunningham’s ‘the Round Tower at Roscrea and its Environs’ had its Dublin launch at St Patrick’s College last week.

Hosted by the President of St Pat’s Professor Daire Keogh it was formally launched by renowned educationalist Professor John Coolahan. Among the large and significant scholarly attendance were prominent academics and figures from the book and educational world including the president the INTO, Brendan O’Sullivan. The reception was held in Belvedere House on the St Pat’s campus. To honour the occasion George Cunningham presented the library of St Pat’s (a new J40m library is being built) with a set of the 8 volume Trees of GB and Ireland.

Professor Coolahan, a class mate of George’s in the class of 1961, in launching the book said: “George is a Renaissance man. He has published and edited a vast range of publications. However, it is his work on the historical and architectural which brings us back to make some remarks on this beautiful book. The detailed study of this round tower is accompanied by a treatment of round towers in other areas of Tipperary, but, also, in counties Offaly, Kildare, Carlow, Laois, Kilkenny and Galway. Furthermore, the scholarly work on round towers, in general, over recent centuries is also captured. So that, while Roscrea is the core example, we are also given a much broader overview on the round tower as one of the distinguishing features of the Irish built landscape. In some ways, the book is a paean of exultation to that heritage and the people who created it. In this context, the built heritage is not allowed to dominate and we are also treated to beautiful treatment of great works of art of the area such as The Book of Dimma and its Shrine, the Roscrea Brooch, and other national treasures.” The book is selling fast and anyone interested in buying a copy can email

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