Irish Planning Institute Marks 40th Anniversary with Gala Dinner and Young Planner Award

The Irish Planning Institute (IPI) marked its 40th anniversary at a gala dinner and presentation of the Young Planner of the Year Award on Friday 6th February. Founded in 1975 the IPI is the all-island professional body representing the majority of professional planners engaged in physical, spatial and environmental planning in Ireland. Members work in central government, private practice, agencies, third level institutes, planning authorities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and overseas. 

Discussing the anniversary dinner IPI President Mary Hughes said “We have achieved many great things as an institute and as a profession and we will continue to build on our achievements. In the face of criticism it is time for planners to strike back. We accept some level of responsibility for the past failings of the planning system that we were all part of, including planners. The debate now needs to move onto solutions and ensuring planners remain confident, informed and accountable and the planning system remains a catalyst for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development.”

Congratulating the Institute on the occasion of its 40th anniversary guest of honour at the dinner Minister for Planning Paudie Coffey TD said ”I want to acknowledge the valued contribution of the IPI to the development and enhancement of the role in planning in Ireland on its 40th Anniversary.  The Government wants to learn from the mistakes of the past, ensuring that we enter a new era of high quality place making, a co-ordinated approach to development and the highest standards of customer service and public confidence in the probity, effectiveness and ultimately citizen centred-ness of the practice of planning in Ireland. That is why we are completely committed to the full implementation of the planning specific recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal.  The Irish Planning Institute has matured into a large and dynamic organisation which can rightly point to having a key part to play in realising many of the reforms for the planning process the Government has committed to.”

Discussing the Young Planner of the Year Award won by Aoife Doyle, a PhD researcher with DIT and Future Analytics Consulting, Hughes said “Aoife impressed the panel with her experience linking planning research and practice and her enthusiastic contribution to the planning profession”. The Young Planner Award aims to recognise planners beginning their career who are making a significant contribution to planning and the profession. 

John Spain of Young Planner of the Year Award sponsor John Spain Associates said “We are delighted to join the Institute in celebrating the commitment of recent graduates to the art and science of spatial planning, both in Ireland and abroad. The Award highlights the skills, accomplishments and achievements of planners today and demonstrates the profession’s potential for innovation, leadership and vision.”

Harry Walsh of 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner sponsor McCutcheon Halley Walsh said “McCutcheon Halley Walsh are delighted to sponsor the 40th Anniversary Dinner and support the views of the President. As planners, we are in the business of managing change and the role of the profession itself has never been of more importance to the state. Recovery for the sake of recovery itself is not a means to an end. To step off the perennial cycle of boom to bust, the recovery must be socially and economically balanced, positively planned and people-based. As a profession, our biggest challenge is promoting our skills within the construction sector and Government and to seek to promote the necessary conditions for long-term sustainable change.”

Note to Editors:

About John Spain Associates - John Spain Associates was founded in 1996 by John Spain, a past president and current Council member of the Irish Planning Institute. John Spain Associates acts for some of Ireland’s largest and most high profile development organisations together with planning authorities and semi-state organisations. They provide a wide range of professional services throughout Ireland in the areas of planning, development and environment and are based in heart of Dublin’s central business district with associate offices in London, Manchester and Leeds. John Spain Associates have a highly qualified and motivated team of experienced professionals who can manage any planning project from conception to realisation.

About McCutcheon Halley Walsh - McCutcheon Halley Walsh was founded in 2000 and has established itself as one of Ireland’s leading planning consultancies with reputation for providing an independent, expert and quality service to clients in the public, private and semi-state sectors. The practice with 10 professional planners, offers a national service from its offices in Cork and Dublin and is run by three directors, Brian McCutcheon, Tom Halley and Harry Walsh. McCutcheon Halley Walsh are proud members of the Irish Planning Institute and support the Institute’s goal of advancing the role of the planning profession.