After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the ALCI was once again able to draw the wider landscape community together for their annual awards ceremony to celebrate the skills, knowledge and expertise of the sector.
As in 2020, Peter O’Brien’s found itself the deserved recipient of several category wins. “The awards in 2020 marked the last time the sector was able to come together. A couple of days after the ceremony, the country entered lockdown. It’s fair to say that everyone is as happy about their work being acknowledged as they are being able to connect with colleagues,” said, Barry Lupton, development manager with O’Brien’s.
Held at the Mullingar Park Hotel, today, Saturday, April 2nd, the awards ceremony coincided with the ALCI AGM and drew together representatives from all areas of the sector. Significantly, it also marked the retirement of Ross Carew and the appointment of Gary Graham as association secretary.
“Two years is a long time in landscaping,” commented systems manager, Barry Evans. “As a nation, our relationship and understanding of the value of quality landscapes have dramatically shifted. As a company, we have significantly expanded our skill base. In many ways, the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic have facilitated knowledge growth. We took on and overcame every challenge. It took its toll, but we’re a better company for it. We’re a more intelligent landscape company and this is reflected in the awards we’re honoured to receive today.”
The O’Brien team submitted two projects for this year’s awards, and they were delighted to secure wins in both categories.
Taking home the top prize for Public Authority projects over €75,000 was The Green in Malahide. “To deliver a project of this complexity in the best of times, would be an achievement,” explained, Company Director, Peter O’Toole. “To do it during lockdown is simply unbelievable. Not only does it reflect the range of skills we can draw on, but it also demonstrated how well a multidisciplinary team can work together.” Designed by Murray and Associates and sitting at the heart of Malahide village, the scheme encompassed extensive paving, planting and highly complex infrastructure works. “What people don’t see when they visit the Green, is what sits below; a network of services and civil engineering works, which we coordinated and installed. This complexity was a first for us. A first for any Irish landscape company,” explained, Project Manager, Raivis Linins. Also noted at the ceremony was how well the O’Brien team worked with the local community, business owners and the project team from Fingal County Council. Commenting on the award, Marc Coyle, Senior Executive Parks and landscape Officer with Fingal County Council said, “I want to thank the O’Brien team for their dedication, professionalism and solution-focused outlook that has delivered such a great outcome”.
Achieving a category win for commercial developments of €75,000 was Karlswood equestrian centre in County Meath, home of Olympic medal-winning showjumper, Cian O’Connor. The project, which is ongoing, centres on the creation of a world-class stud facility with unmatched training facilities. “To be involved with a project of this scale and quality, which encompasses every area of landscape specialization is what gets us out of bed each day,” commented, Peter. “And to be able to work so closely with a client who is genuinely engaged, open and interested has made this project a real joy for us. The expertise demonstrated in delivering Karlswood makes this a very deserved win.” The scheme, which was designed by Belfast-based Landscape Architects, Parkhood includes a Grand Prix arena, a half-mile gallop, turn-out paddocks, lunging, and training facilities framed with vast areas of mature amenity, hedge and tree planting. The development also features extensive areas of highly detailed hard landscape areas. “As the next phase of the project gets underway, and given the quality being demanded and delivered, I suspect this award is the first of many,” added Peter.
Commenting on the awards, company Director, Ciaran O’Brien said “I’m proud of everything we do together. I truly believe that we are unequalled in our commitment to quality, to delivering for our clients, to setting industry standards and exceeding expectations. It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone and I really want to thank each and every member of the O’Brien team for their dedication”.
You can view photos and images of the Green and Malahide here
You can learn more about the awards by visiting the ALCI website here