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Galen Bales: An Irish Landmarker’s story

This month, we had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our very own Irish Landmarkers Galen Bales. Galen is an entrepreneur, a leading business mind and has a long-standing involvement with Irish Landmark Trust. Galen arrived in Ireland from the U.S.A. in 1994 and vividly recalls the visible dilapidation of beautiful buildings peppered around Merrion Square. Upon moving to Ireland, he joined the Irish Georgian Society motivated by a genuine concern to save these buildings from disappearing forever.

Galen chatted to us about personal motivations for contributing to our Irish Landmarker programme. His ongoing enthusiasm for participation reminded us how there are ways for everyone to assist Irish Landmark Trust and by communicating the practical steps available to everyone we can help encourage a community to take the initiative in preserving our heritage.

Galen Bale’s top tips on how everyone can assist Irish Landmark Trust

  1. Stay in Irish Landmark Trust properties

It sounds simple but staying in Irish Landmark Trust properties is an excellent way to support the organisation. These are charming properties with incredible diversity ranging from city centre to farm locations, from lighthouses to castles, from edge of cliff tops to secluded cottages. These homes are not museums, they are ours to enjoy and offer a fantastic alternative to staying in a hotel room or a bed and breakfast. The properties offer a competitive rate, a truly unique experience and each host their own very special charm.

  1. Spread the word about Irish Landmark Trust properties

Recommend Irish Landmark Trust properties to all your friends and overseas visitors and encourage them to book our properties when visiting Ireland. The Merrion Mews in the centre of Dublin city is situated two minutes from the Merrion Hotel and is a fraction of the cost while including all the joys of this prime location. Imagine your very own three bedroom historic mews (with a personal car parking space!) in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Friends and family will simply be stunned by all the locations we have on offer and will appreciate your help in discovering these hidden gems.

  1. Make a financial contribution to Irish Landmark Trust

Support a wonderful mission and join the Irish Landmarker programme.

What a great feeling to know that for as little as €12.50 a month you can play a role in preventing a lighthouse from going into disrepair and that you are playing a direct role in preserving these precious buildings.

These financial donations will help assist Irish Landmark Trust to continue to rescue more buildings but will also help to bring a unique holiday destination into existence and help create some financial security so that our current buildings can be maintained year on year and can continue to provide the highest standard of accommodation.

Becoming an Irish Landmarker offers the opportunity to be a pioneer and support our wonderful mission. This type of work embodies and represents Ireland’s charm. If Irish Landmark Trust was not there, what is the alternative for these precious buildings? Potentially left in disarray or worse again, lost forever? This is a dangerous outcome. Your assistance in helping create and maintain these beautiful destinations is not merely altruistic, because these are properties which you can then stay in, feel a sense of belonging to, and feel proud of the contribution you have made.

  1. Opt for an educational holiday experience by staying in an Irish Landmark property.

Take advantage of a holiday where you can actually learn something about a property. All our properties have a restoration story, have a history and are culturally significant. These are aspects of a stay which you can truly sense. Irish Landmark Trust offers a real opportunity to expose people to Ireland. It has the potential for both Irish people and the international community to experience an aspect of Irish culture that is precious and demonstrates our pride in the preservation of Ireland’s architecture.

  1. Can your business assist Irish Landmark Trust?

Recently, one Irish Landmark Trust property urgently required an AGA for the kitchen. We were delighted when AGA offered a significant discount. This was a great example of local business understanding the role it could play in assisting heritage within the local community. Restored Irish Landmark Trust properties contribute a very positive atmosphere within localities. There tends to be great interest and excitement in a property which has been rescued to such a high standard. It ignites fresh energy in the community. There is a strong business case for organisations to consider assisting Irish Landmark Trust with a well-matched proposal, like the example above, or equally by offering a long term financial commitment to the organisation.

  1. As a guest, you too can contribute with your personal talents, skills and creative energies.

Don’t underestimate the value of what past and future guests can directly contribute to Irish Landmark Trust. There is immense value in a talented photographer submitting images for example, or a film made while holidaying in a property for promotional use. Skilled writers and communicators can create enthusiasm for properties by writing articles or posting their reviews on social media. Furniture restorers, gardeners, historians, entrepreneurs and experts in advertising, marketing, technology may be struck by an idea that they would be willing to complete in a volunteer capacity. Harnessing the creative energies of enthusiastic guests opens up an additional support structure by which Irish Landmark Trust can benefit.