‘No Minister’ | RIAI Annual Conference 2014

by Bregs Blog admin team

No Minister

Bregs Blog admin team 8th October 2014

At the RIAI AGM, late last month, a question was asked by a member as to whether the ‘Minister’ would take questions about S.I.9 from the floor of the RIAI annual conference . The officers at the top table seemed perplexed at the mention of a ‘Minister’ and the CEO, John Graby and President, Robin Mandal, claimed that there would be no ‘Minister’ at the conference. The questioner pointed out that the online conference programme had clearly noted an address by the Minister on Day One of the conference. The following day all references to an address by a ‘Minister’ were removed from the RIAI online conference programme.

The Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly T.D. and the Minister of State, Paudie Coffey T.D., have been very visible in supporting construction sector conferences of late. Minister Kelly is due to address the Irish Planning Institute conference this Friday. Minister Coffey attended the Construction Industry Federation’s conference last week and will support the National Building and Design Conference this Friday also. So why ‘No Minister’ for the  RIAI Conference?

The RIAI top table would have you believe that the Ministers and officials at the Department of the Environment “are not amused” at the fact that architects have not embraced S.I.9 with open arms; that the RIAI members are now being placed on the naughty step for daring to question the legislation on behalf of the consumer and their clients.

On the other hand most architects believe there is a fear among the RIAI conference organisers that there might not be a big welcome for a Minister from the Department that brought its members S.I. 9? Could such a Minister be greeted with heckling, booing and awkward questions that might mirror the reception usually given to Ministers at Teacher and Garda Unions’ conferences? Would such a response from members give away the carefully crafted message from the RIAI head office to the Department of the Environment that all is well with architects and they are just getting on with the new building control regulations? Are some people afraid that the Ministers will find out what is really going on?

The vast majority of architects do not believe S.I. 9 will help consumers or improve building standards. Most believe it is a lost opportunity and cannot understand why the profession is being misrepresented at its highest level. Most architects do not hold Ministers Kelly or Coffey responsible; they inherited this appalling piece of legislation from Phil Hogan and would welcome an opportunity to be able to explain to these Ministers its shortcomings and how there could be a better way to control building in this country.

We know Minister Coffey, at least,  has looked at the BRegs Blog so leave your comments below!

BRegs Blog Admin Team

The RIAI Annual Conference is scheduled to take place at the RDS on Sunday 12th and Monday 13th October 2014.

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