Orpen, Beatrice Esther (‘Bea’) (1913–80), painter and art teacher, was born 7 March 1913 at Lisheens, Carrickmines, Co. Dublin, one of twin daughters, the youngest children among five daughters and one son of Charles St George Orpen (1864–1939), a solicitor and president of the Incorporated Law Society (1915–16), and Cerise Maria Orpen (née Darley) (d. 1950), fourth daughter of John Henry Darley, of Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. She was a niece of architect and painter Richard F. C. Orpen (qv) and the eminent painter Sir William Orpen (qv). She was educated at home with a governess till age 13 before attending the French School, Bray, Co. Wicklow, and Alexandra College, Dublin. After taking private lessons in the fundamentals of colour and line from Lilian Davidson (qv), she received formal training at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and the life schools of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) (1932–5), where she studied under Seán O'Sullivan (qv), and won first prize for drawing from life (1933) and painting from life (1934). Continuing her studies in London (1935–9), at the Slade School of Fine Art she excelled in decorative design, winning first prize in decorative composition (1936), and earned the diploma in design (1939); she also attended the School of Typography, Fleet St., trained in both textile and commercial design in the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts, and fulfilled commissions from commercial firms for posters, brochures, book jackets, and greeting cards. Returning to Ireland, she had her first solo exhibition in October 1939 in the Country Shop, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, whose managing director was Muriel Gahan (qv). She married (5 July 1940) Chalmers Edward FitzJohn (‘Terry’) Trench, and moved with him to 73 Terenure Rd East, Dublin; they would have three sons and one daughter. On his becoming manager of an oatmeal mill in Drogheda, Co. Louth, they moved in 1942 to the Blue School, Drogheda; from 1961 they resided at Killrian, Slane, Co. Meath. She taught art in Drogheda at the technical school (1943–74), the grammar school (1946–59), and St Peter's national school (1949–74), and gave talks in art appreciation for schools and adult groups throughout Ireland as an Arts Council lecturer under the Charlotte Shaw Trust (1957–78).
Beginning in 1934 when she was still an art student, Orpen exhibited each year at the RHA till 1980, contributing over 100 paintings in total; she was also represented at the exhibitions of the Water Colour Society of Ireland nearly every year from 1936 to 1980. She was best known for landscapes, in which her favoured medium was gouache, and characteristically employed sombre colours, often on tinted paper, creating a matt-textured effect. The quick-drying medium accommodated her rapid execution, perfected in early life and suitable to her later busy routine. She also worked frequently in watercolour; except for a period in the 1960s, she rarely painted in oils. Undertaking numerous painting holidays to different parts of Ireland, she executed images of scenes in counties Louth, Meath, Dublin, Wicklow, and all the counties of the western seaboard. Early in her career she painted in Norway (1938) and Brittany (1955), and in later years travelled regularly to paint on the European continent (1960s–70s), and once to North America (1976). She had solo exhibitions in Dublin at the Grafton gallery (1947, 1954) and the Neptune gallery (1977), and in Drogheda (1978); exhibited in most years at the Oireachtas (1943–80), the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1943–58), and the Exhibition of Modern Irish Art, Wexford town (1945–76); and was represented in numerous provincial exhibitions and festivals. With her husband she founded the Drogheda municipal art collection (1946), serving on a committee that assembled over sixty works by the time of her death.
Joining the ICA in 1939, Orpen was co-founder of Drogheda town associates (1947), president of Louth/Meath federation (1950), and chairman of the ICA executive committee (1952). Particularly involved in the arts-and-crafts aspect of the organisation, she taught art classes at An Grianán, the ICA's residential adult educational college at Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, from its inception (1954), and instigated and directed an annual arts course for national teachers at the college (1959–77). During her tenure as ICA president (1974–6), she stressed the importance of environmental protection, especially the need for re-cycling of waste, and urged ICA guilds to form local history groups to foster a sense of protective pride in their areas. She headed the Irish delegation to the 14th triennial conference of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) in Perth, Australia (1974), and also spoke at the 15th conference in Nairobi, Kenya (1977); enroute to the former gathering she diverted to paint in Tahiti, and during the latter she painted in east Africa. A member of An Taisce, she was a government appointee to the governing body of the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin (1975–8), and to the stamp design advisory committee (1977–80). After suffering a brain haemorrhage in May 1978 she was permanently invalided and hospitalised. Elected an honorary member of the RHA (May 1980), she died on 12 July 1980 at the Cottage Hospital, Drogheda; her remains were bequeathed to TCD medical school. Retrospective exhibitions of her work were held at the Gorry gallery, Dublin (1981), and the Droichead arts centre, Drogheda (1995).
Her husband, C. E. F. (‘Terry’) Trench (1909–2005), was the younger son among two sons and two daughters of Wilbraham Fitzjohn Trench (qv), professor of English literature at TCD. Inspired by his experience of the German Jugendherbergen during walking holidays while attending university in Frankfurt-am-Main, he was chief founder (1931) and first national secretary (till 1942) of An Óige, the Irish youth hostel association. Also educated at Cambridge and TCD, he worked for the Three Candles press, Dublin, before becoming manager of McCann and Hill, oatmeal millers and merchants, Drogheda (1942–65). He later served An Óige as head office manager (1966–73) and president (1974–80). He wrote Fifty years young: the story of An Óige (1981), guides to the town of Slane (illustrated by his wife) (1976, 1987), and an autobiography, Nearly ninety (1996).