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Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press Releases 2022 > RIAI Urban Design Award for Ramelton

04/07/2022 - RIAI Urban Design Award for Ramelton

McFadden's Shop, Castle Street, Ramelton


The Ramelton Historic Towns Initiative won the ‘Urban Design’ Award at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland national awards presented in Dublin recently.  There were 147 entries for the annual awards competition and the entry for Ramelton submitted by Dedalus Architecture was an ‘Urban Design’ winner and was also highly commended under the category of ‘Sustainability’.  


The clients for the project were individual private building owners, the Ramelton Georgian Society, and Donegal County Council.  The project was grant-assisted by The Heritage Council and Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage under the Historic Towns Initiative.  In addition to providing management of the project by the county conservation and heritage officers, Collette Beattie and Dr. Joseph Gallagher, further investment was provided by Donegal County Council, with the balance of funding provided by individual building owners.


Ramelton is the one of five designated Heritage Towns in County Donegal and the ‘heritage-led’ Ramelton Action Plan was prepared by the Moville-based conservation practice, Dedalus Architecture.  The plan, directing regeneration of neglected urban fabric, was made working closely with the Ramelton Georgian Society and Donegal County Council to establish connections to inform residents and undertake further projects anticipated in the plan. 


“The Ramelton Historic Towns Initiative, the first of the actions of the heritage-led plan to be implemented, involved repair of twelve run-down or unused buildings, making a massive improvement in the appearance and future fortunes of the historic town core, on a shoestring budget” said Duncan McLaren, Principal Architect with Dedalus Architecture.  “The project demonstrates the potential for modest conservation and repair work at an urban scale to address regeneration inclusively, sustainably and cost-effectively.  The repair of our built heritage is an urgent challenge for all Irish towns, and is a simple, but essential first step in reducing energy consumption, and a critical action in helping to address climate change.”


Duncan McLaren thanked everyone for the huge support that they had received in the public vote, and said that he was delighted that the on-going programme of repair work at the unique historic Donegal town of Ramelton now has the national recognition that it deserves.  This award follows commendation in 2020 by the Irish Planning Institute for ‘participation and engagement' by the same team with the local community at Church Lane in Letterkenny for work also funded under the Historic Towns Initiative.  The award-winning team are now hard at work on a major Historic Towns Initiative project in Ballyshannon due to be completed at the end of this year.


The RIAI Awards ceremony also saw two projects by Rathmullan-based architects, Pasparaskis Friel, being highly commended for a private house and the Killybegs Regeneration Strategy and Action Plan also for Donegal County Council.  Further details of all the award winners are available on the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland website at


Photographs of the buildings conserved as part of the RIAI award-winning Ramelton Historic Towns Initiative:

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