Architects’ body welcomes court judgment over unlawful use of ‘architect’



The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has welcomed a District Court judgment over the unlawful use of the title “architect”.

William ‘Bill’ Doran, who pleaded guilty to two separate charges, yesterday received fines totalling €6,000 in a case brought by the RIAI.

The architects’ body says it uses prosecution as a last resort and has only brought forward two other cases previously.

One was in 2015, which was also against Mr Doran, where he was found guilty of misuse of the title “architect” having described himself as such in a formal submission to Dublin City Council.

Under section 18 of the Building Control Act 2007, it is illegal for anyone to describe themself as an architect, or to practice or carry on business under a name containing the word ‘architect’, when not registered with the RIAI as an architect.

Frank Turvey, the registrar of architects, said: “The RIAI welcomes the decision of the court in this case, in particular its comments concerning the seriousness and gravity of the offence and the adverse consequences the misuse of the title architect can have on members of the public.

“We hope this decision is a deterrent to others who use the title or word ‘architect’ in relation to their business to deliberately mislead members of the public as to their training and professional credentials.

“The RIAI gives every opportunity for those who are found to be misusing the title to comply with the legislation. Prosecution is used as a last resort against those who persist in misusing the title ‘architect’ despite fair warning, as was the case in this instance.”

He added: “The title ‘architect’ has been protected in legislation since 2008; it is illegal to use the title unless you are admitted to the register for architects. This is to protect the public from individuals who deliberately mislead people by implying that they are something which they are not.

“A registered architect has demonstrated through their education, training, and experience that they have the level of skill, knowledge, and competence required to practice as an architect in Ireland.

“Before engaging an architect, consumers should always check that the person is registered with the RIAI. Otherwise, they risk hiring an individual who does not have the required expertise to complete or certify the project and is not governed by the RIAI code of conduct.”