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The Republic of Ireland Regional Group

The Republic of Ireland Branch of the Institution of Structural Engineers is the local representative body of the institution. We organize local activites for the institution’s members and provide a conduit for structured communication in both directions. Look around our website to see more of what we do.

A brief history, extracted from 75 Years of Structural Engineering in Ireland follows.

The Early days

The 75th Anniversary of the Institution provides a natural occasion for the Branch to review its origins and development and to acknowledge the happy and valuable relationship of members in Ireland with the Institution. It is not possible to write a simple and consecutive account of the Institution in Ireland and a history must be broken into some three parts.
The first association of the Institution with Ireland was in the 1920s when an “Irish Branch” was set up and the Institution transactions cover the development in the following terms:-

A meeting to inaugurate an Irish Branch of the Institution was held at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin on the evening of Friday, January 22, (1926) and was attended by Major James Petrie, Past President, and Capt. M. G. Kiddy, Secretary. The meeting was not attended by many members, but was fairly well attended by engineers who were not members, and who expressed an interest in the Institution, and a desire to be admitted.
The Chair was taken by Mr Peter Kearney (Associate), who had convened the meeting, and an address descriptive of the aims and activities of the Institution was delivered by Major Petrie; at its conclusion the Secretary answered a number of questions regarding membership, and advised as to procedure.
There was some discussion as to whether the Branch should be called the “Irish Branch” or the “Irish Free State Branch”, but it was finally unanimously decided by those present to call it the “Irish Branch” of the Institution, the feeling being that politics could not enter into the work of the Institution, and that members from the North would be as cordially welcomed to Branch Meetings as those from the South.
Mr James Moore, MJnst.C.EJ., A.MJnst.C.E., was unanimously elected first Chairman of the Branch, and Mr Peter Kearney (34, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, to whom all communications relative to the Branch should be addressed) was unanimously elected Branch Honorary Secretary.
It was resolved to leave the election of a Committee to a subsequent meeting, which it is hoped to hold shortly at the Guildhall, and which will be attended by Mr Ewart S. Andrews who will read a paper on “Steel Framed Buildings”. Particulars will be issued to members in Ireland in due course.

The subsequent transactions show, for reasons which are unclear, that no “learned body” activities seem to have been held in the years following and by the early 1930’s the Institution’s transactions had ceased to refer to the Irish Branch at all and this marked the end of the first part of the association of the Institution with Ireland.
Then in November 1948 the inaugural meeting of a Branch of the Institution set up in Northern Ireland was held in Belfast and the Branch there has developed in the manner of the Institution’s other Branches with regular technical meetings in the winter sessions. This second association of the Institution continues.


A Section of the Institution was set up in Dublin in 1961 and in 1974, membership had increased to the point where the Section was eligible to become a Branch, the status which it now has. The size and rate of growth of membership in the Branch area in the first forty years of the Institution’s existence (i.e. 1910-50) cannot be described as other than modest at 13 to 28 members, respectively. By 1975 there were 125 members.

It is reasonable to assume that the small size and slow increase in membership accurately reflected the economy of Ireland at the time. At all events the fast pace of industrial development in Ireland in the 1960’s and early 1970’s had its repercussions on our profession as shown by the relatively large increase in membership at that time.
The Section and Branch has maintained its pattern of activities during the winter sessions and in the past twenty years in excess of a hundred technical lectures have been made available to members and others. And since the 1970s the Branch has broken new ground by organising seminars on topics of structural engineering interest to members and others involved in the building industry.