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Irish exodus continues

A leading Irish architect has warned of a talent drain from the Emerald Isle as a report showed the country was still suffering huge falls in house prices

The Knight Frank Global House Price Index recorded a 14.4 per cent drop in average values in the 12 months to 30 June 2012.

This was the biggest drop of 54 countries monitored, and was in stark contrast to an average 0.7 per cent global increase.

Róisín Heneghan, founder of Dublin-based practice Heneghan Peng, told AJ the built environment sector had dried up completely in Ireland.

‘You cannot compare the UK recession with Ireland’s – in the UK it is a setback, here it is a depression,’ she said.

‘There is no private money and no government money. There are lots of unfinished buildings that were started in the boom and can not be completed.’

Heneghan added that although practices such as her own were winning work abroad, so many talented people had left Ireland it was getting hard to staff studios.

‘More and more architects are looking abroad, and a lot of graduates have left.

‘With couples, if one of them can’t find work, they both leave. It is getting difficult to find the people you need.’

Heneghan said the practice may look to expand its Berlin office to counter the problem.

Brazil saw the greatest rise in the Knight Franks survey – an 18.4 per cent increase in average values over the 12 months.

AJ reported in July that many UK practices were targeting Brazil as its economy grows ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.


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