Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.
Edward Ponsonby was 8th Earl of Bessborough from 1906 to 1920 (at thepeerage dot com.)
They are at Bessborough House in Piltdown, Kilkenny.
OSI 25" of the colossal house.
The gent with the white whiskers could be Eddie, portrait here at the National Portrait Gallery (not ours, theirs!), from 1917.
Bessborough House was burned down on Thursday 22nd February 1923. "The fire raged throughout Friday, the flames being visible for miles around. Everything in the residence was destroyed. ... Nothing but the charred walls remain of the once beautiful mansion" Kilkenny Moderator - Saturday 03 March 1923
Per the NIAH: A very fine substantial house built to designs prepared by Francis Bindon (c.1698-1765) for Brabazon Ponsonby (1679-1768), first Earl of Bessborough, and subsequently reconstructed in the early twentieth century to designs prepared by Harold (Harry) Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959) following an extensive fire retaining a porch added in the late nineteenth century by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane (1827-99).
After reconstruction it was a convent and then from 1944 an agricultural college.
Squinting at the OSI map, I do not think this stairway and door were reconstructed.
Ah, this is the front door before the flat porch was added. See POOLEIMP 355, so pre-1899 if the NIAH is to be believed.
Per the DIA
Name:DEANE, THOMAS MANLY (SIR)
Building:CO. KILKENNY, BESSBOROUGH
Nature:Alterations, including removing front steps and moving principal entrance to ground floor, new porch, conversion of original hall into sitting room.
Refs:T.U. Sadleir & P.L. Dickinson, Georgian Mansions in Ireland (1915), 21
Again not a hurl to be seen.
So the NIAH thinks Thomas Newenham Deane did the porch, and since he died in 1899 it must be earlier.
But the DIA thinks it was his son, Thomas Manly Deane, and does not know the date.
If we can date this image (by figuring out who the delegates were and when) we may answer the question.
If that is Edward Ponsonby with white whiskers, I think it has to be after 1906.
No, here is a Poole dated 22/2/1905 with the porch: POOLEWP 0494. Definitely before that date, so probably not Edward.
as for the "delegates",
is this the earl/ or son of, who acted as a GB representative to Canada ? could some of this be a group of Canadian visitors
Since this is almost certainly the 8th Earl rather than the 9th then it had to be before 1920 when he died. The image of him in Wikipedia from 1904 shows a more virile individual than in this shot so probably later in his life than that. Those around him have a "foreign" look about them, especially those on his right and a couple of those behind him. They have a sallow or swarthy complexion and look Mediterranean or even slavic in appearance. Given his continued involvement in railways perhaps that is where the delegates came from seeking assistance or investment?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foxglove The Earl who became Governor General of Canada did so in 1931 and lived until 1951 so this is not likely to have been him.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley The 25", survey date 1901, shows the steps as in our photo
This is before 1905, so it is the 7th Earls time.
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Another Poole showing porch, again dated 1905
Photo of the seventh Earl (- 1906) www.findagrave.com/memorial/182226853/walter-william_brab...
Visitors book, dated 1909, showing porch
Players cigarette card, 1910
as ever I travel in time, but enlightened that I am with the younger side of the family
The house still stands, It is now Kildalton TEAGASC College