Opinion: “the architectural profession is largely united in opposition to S.I.9”

by Bregs Blog admin team

Open Letter RIAI

The following letter was sent to the President of the representative body for architects (RIAI) by David McHugh MRIAI, one of the signatories of the recent RIAI EGM motion debated on 12th August 2014. The letter was forwarded on to us here on 15th September 2014. 


Dear President,

As one of the proposers of the motion that the Institute should adopt as its first priority a policy that S.I. 9 be revoked and be replaced by better legislation, I fully respect all the members’ right to support or oppose the motion as they see fit, and the postponement /adjournment of the recent EGM has in effect frustrated the democratic right of the membership as a whole to decide this important matter.

So, please, publish the date for the reconvened EGM and let the members decide.

On the issue of the motion, I need to point out that this is not an “either or” motion, but is a “both and” strategy.

Publicly pointing out the need for replacement of a deeply flawed piece of legislation is not inconsistent with promoting a replacement. It is, in my view, being honest and consistent.

I believe there is a need to tell the truth here: it is clear that the Department of the Environment is promoting the position that it is all fine, and that there are just a few cranks and troublemakers within the profession opposing the system, when in fact an unprecedented attendance at both EGMs clearly shows that the profession is largely united in opposition to S.I.9, and the RIAI executive has, by its public silence, aligned itself with the Department’s strategy.

I know that I speak for a significant number of members who feel completely betrayed by the Institute in their secretive conduct in negotiating and ushering in and even welcoming S.I.9.

I was shocked to be told by the Practice Director that the RIAI has no function in advising the members on whether and on what terms they should accept or refuse appointments as DC [Design Certifier] or AC [Assigned Certifier], all in the face of clear legal advice from several quarters of the very serious risks associated.

Is it any wonder that , as your recent column in Architecture Ireland says, there is a perception abroad now that the RIAI no longer represents its members’ interests ?

If it is indeed the case as you infer in your article that “policy and other maters in our members interest are decided at that Council table and not elsewhere”, one wonders what is the point of having any EGM or AGM, if  the membership cannot direct the Council policy.

On this much I hope we can agree, let the members have their say now and let the Council and executive listen .


David McHugh

Other posts of interest:

SI.9 Is Defective | RIAI EGM Consensus 

Friday Follow | Eoin O’Cofaigh FRIAI

S.I.9 and Employees: Eoin O’Morain FRIAI

S.I. 9 and Insurance Claims: Deirdre Lennon MRIAI

S.I. 9 and Construction Products: Orla Hegarty MRIAI RIBA

Vivian Cummins MRIAI: Are small architectural practices under threat from S.I.9?

Shrapnel and Spin – Caomhán Murphy MRIAI

Eoin O’Cofaigh: missed opportunity? BC(A)R SI.9

News Alert | RIAI EGM Report

Minister Hogan’s departure- Does this mean somebody can now shout STOP?