Kevin B Nowlan, veteran conservationist, dies aged 91

Anne Crookshank, Castletown Foundation director, with Kevin Nowlan, foundation chairman, in 1984

Anne Crookshank, Castletown Foundation director, with Kevin Nowlan, foundation chairman, in 1984

Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 00:00

Kevin B Nowlan, veteran conservationist and one-time professor of history at UCD who has died at the age of 91, was described yesterday by former lord mayor Dermot Lacey as “a wonderful man to whom Dublin and Dubliners owe a huge debt”.

Prof Nowlan was “an environmentalist and a conservationist before there were such people and, along with [the late] Deirdre Kelly, he can claim to have done Dublin some service”, Mr Lacey said. “His memory should live on among anyone who cares about Dublin.”

Founder of the Dublin Civic Group, he became president of An Taisce, vice-president of the Irish Georgian Society and chairman of the Castletown Foundation – set up to protect one of the earliest and most important of Ireland’s stately homes.

“From fighting to save Tailors’ Hall in the 1960s through the battle for Wood Quay and opposition to high-rise buildings . . . Kevin was always to the forefront, and articulate and passionate, when fighting for Dublin,” said Mary Bryan, chair of the Irish Georgian Foundation.

Geraldine Walsh, chief executive of Dublin Civic Trust, said he put his life’s energies into the recognition and preservation of Dublin’s cultural inheritance.