The Castletown Foundation has eleven members, made up of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and nine directors. The Foundation has always strived to include a broad range of interests and expertise amongst its directors, spanning the academic, conservation, heritage, planning and tourism spheres. Through its members the Foundation also maintains close ties with the local community in Celbridge, and further afield in County Kildare.
The current directors are:
Joint Chairperson: Jeanne Meldon’s professional background is in town planning, and she brings her extensive experience and knowledge of conservation and planning issues to the Foundation. A resident of Celbridge, together with June Stuart, she acts as a valuable liaison with local interest groups. Together with David Sheehan she succeeded Christopher Moore as Joint Chair of the foundation in 2018
Joint Chairperson: David Sheehan is a leading conservation architect, and is a partner in Sheehan & Barry Architects. His architectural knowledge, practical experience and aesthetic sensibilities have been and continue to be of great benefit to the Foundation. Together with Jeanne Meldon he succeeded Christopher Moore as Joint Chair of the foundation in 2018.
Frances Bailey is the National Trust’s curator in Northern Ireland, and is currently working at Mount Stewart, one of the Trust’s most important properties in Northern Ireland. She brings her practical experience and the knowledge gained through her work with the National Trust to the Foundation. Together with other directors she is leading the development of the Foundation’s acquisitions policy and, in partnership with the OPW, the conservation management plan.
Victoria Browne works for the Irish Heritage Trust where her focus is on museum collections and standards. She was the lead author of the Castletown Decorative Arts catalogue published in 2011 as joint project under the auspices of the Foundation and OPW.
Professor Christine Casey is associate professor of architectural history at Trinity College Dublin, where her research interests focus on architecture and ornament in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland. She has published extensively on eighteenth-century Irish plasterwork, and on Dublin’s architecture. Her current research focus on the work of migrant European craftsmen in Georgian Britain and Ireland, including of course the Lafranchini brothers who made such a distinguished contribution to Castletown.
Patrick Conolly-Carew, 7th Baron Carew grew up at Castletown, an experience detailed in the book Children of Castletown which he wrote with his siblings Diana and Sally in 2012, and his presence on the Foundation emphasises the close links that the Conolly-Carew family have maintained with Castletown long after their sale of the house and its collections in the 1960s.
Roddy Feely is one of the longest-serving members of the Castletown Foundation. As company secretary he has special responsibility for managing the Foundation’s finances and accounts.
Dr Alison Fitzgerald is a lecturer in the History Department in Maynooth University where she specialises in the history of Irish design and material culture. Her publications include Silver in Georgian Dublin: Making, Selling, Consuming (Routledge 2016). Dr Fitzgerald has played a key role in managing the K B Nowlan Scholarship on behalf of the Foundation.
June Stuart, is a resident of Celbridge, where she lives in Kildrought House built in 1725 by Speaker Conolly’s close associate Robert Baillie. She has played a significant role in protecting the town’s eighteenth-century heritage, and together with Jeanne Meldon acts as an invaluable link between the Foundation and local interest groups including the Celbridge Action Alliance and the Celbridge Historical Society.
Dr Patrick Walsh is an historian in the Department of History at Trinity College Dublin, where he specialises in the history of eighteenth-century Ireland. Amongst his publications are The Making of the Irish Protestant Ascendancy: The Life of William Conolly, 1662-1729 (Woodbridge, 2010) and (with Anthony Malcomson) The Conolly Archive (Dublin 2010). In 2007 he wrote the current guide book to Castletown, while as the co-editor of the calendar of the Conolly papers he takes a particular interest in the Foundation’s role as custodian of the Castletown papers.
Matt McNulty is a former Director General of Bord Failte,the Irish tourist board, and brings his considerable experience in the tourism sector to the Foundation. He is also a director of the Irish Heritage Trust. He retired as a director of the Foundation after many years service in June 2018
Christopher Moore succeeded the late Professor Kevin B. Nowlan as chairman of the Foundation in 2013. Christopher has had a long association with Castletown going back to his student days, and served as curator of the house during the 1980s. A passionate advocate for the house and its collections work with the Office of Public Works has helped ensure that the house and its collections are conserved and presented to the highest possible standards. Christopher retired as a director of the Foundation in June 2018 but will remain on board as a Patron.