Honorary Members 2010
Published: Friday, February 19, 2010
Council may nominate distinguished architects, who are not practising in Ireland, and non-architects who have given service and support to architecture. The 2009 nominations of Seán Benton, Dick Gleeson and Frank McDonald span the world of public services, planning and environmental journalism.
This year Frank McDonald, Seán Benton and Dick Gleeson were awarded honorary membership by Paul Keogh, President of the RIAI.
Citation for Frank McDonald:
From an early stage in his career as a journalist Frank McDonald chose to write on the subjects of architecture, urbanism and the environment. As Environment Editor of the Irish Times, his articles created a wider public awareness of our architectural heritage, the threats posed to the fabric of our cities and towns by inappropriate development and the importance of new quality architectural interventions in the context of a wider debate on the environment.
His published work including “The Destruction of Dublin” (1985), “Saving the City” (1989) and “The Construction of Dublin” (2000) widened the appreciation by Dublin’s citizens of the city’s great heritage, the threats to it and the importance of its sensitive redevelopment.
Throughout his career, he has contributed to creating a greater public appreciation of the importance of architecture in the context of a sustainable environment.
Citation for Sean Benton:
Sean has served as Commissioner of the Office of Public Works for 7 years and Chairman for an additional 7 years. During this period, he worked to support, encourage and facilitate the highest possible standards of architecture in state projects, and a significant number of new buildings, and restoration and conservation works were undertaken, which will remain as examplars for future generations.
His work in developing and promoting the architectural graduate programme has been of great benefit to many young architects throughout Ireland.
Citation for Dick Gleeson:
Those who have been privileged to work with Dick Gleeson, or have had dealings with him professionally, will be aware of his passionate belief in the transformative power of good architecture.
It has been Dublin’s and Ireland’s good future, to have a Chief Planner with a vision for the capital, and the sensibility to understand the linkages of scales, from strategic planning to an understanding of place, that yield architecture and great urban places.
Dick Gleeson set out a vision for Dublin as a great European city, with its own unique heritage and character. For him, the city is a living and organic phenomenon, in flux, and in continuous change.
In bestowing Honorary Membership, this Institute is recognising his many achievements, and commits to support him in the years ahead.