Amid all the fuss over Roy Keane, a group of planning, design and engineering staff from Dublin City Council met in County Monaghan to discuss the future of the fair city. Providing a critique of presentations was Stuart Gulliver, ex-head of the Glasgow Development Agency, and the AJ's Paul Finch, whose claim to expertise appeared to rest on the fact that his father's grandmother was from Connemara. A splendid time was had by all. UK practices working in the Republic include ABK and MacCormac Jamieson & Prichard, while Benson & Forsyth's National Gallery extension is tipped for honours.
Judging by the enthusiasm of the council team, Dublin should continue to prosper in the years ahead. It has problems, but many are the result of success - high house prices, arguments over high-rise and huge commuter traffic problems. The basic feeling, however, is of an economy that is growing and confident.