2009 Community Housing Awards

The Irish Council for Social Housing, as the national representative federation for voluntary housing associations, has been aware of the high standard of new social housing developments and their contribution to community life for many years. Established in 2003, the biennial ICSH Community Housing Awards are intended to encourage and acknowledge excellence in the provision of these community social housing schemes. The aim of the Awards is to promote high quality design and link community development and housing management to the built environment.

The winners of the 2009 ICSH Community Housing Awards were announced at the ICSH Biennial National Social Housing Conference in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The awards are sponsored by Zurich Insurance. In the following pictures, the winning housing schemes are shown along with representatives from each organisation being presented of their award from Cllr. Sheila Buckley-Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Athlone and Gene Clayton, ICSH President.

Full details of the winning entrants is available here and are summarised below.

Category: Housing for Older People

Winner: Danesfort Voluntary Housing Association, Co. Kilkenny for Fr. Campion Place designed by Bluett & O’Donoughe Architects.

Winner: St. Benedict’s Conference, St. Vincent de Paul, Malahide, Co. Dublin for St. Benedict’s designed by Paul Keogh Architects








Photo: Danesfort Voluntary Housing Association, Danesfort, Co. Kilkenny









Photo: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Malahide, Co. Dublin

Shortlisted in this category:

  • Kikee Housing Association Ltd., Co. Clare for Dún an Óir designed by Project Designs and Building Consultants
  • Freemount Housing Association, Co. Cork for Cois Abhann designed by Cork County Council Architect
  • Dublin City Council for Merville Court, Finglas, Dublin designed by Walsh Associates


Category: Homeless Projects

Winner: Focus Ireland for Cluain Ghlas, Waterford City designed by CJ Falconer and Associates.









Shortlisted in this category:

  • Túath Housing & Depaul Trust for Sundial House housing chaotic street drinkers in Dublin designed by Gerry Cahill Architects


Category: Housing for People with Disabilities

Winner: Newgrove Housing Association for Regent House, Kilkenny City designed by Hamilton Young Architects.










Shortlisted in this category:

  • Cluid Housing Association for Carrigabrick Lodge, Fermoy, Co. Cork designed by Hudson Associates.
  • Roscara Housing Association for Sli na Sruthan, Castlerea. Co. Roscommon designed by MBK Associates


Category: Housing for Families

Winner: Wexford County Council for Sli Chormic, Duncormick, Co. Wexford designed by Sean Loughlin, Wexford County Council









Shortlisted in this category:

  • Respond! Housing Association for Ros na Coille and Carrig Liath, Midleton, Co. Cork designed by Respond! Architects

Category: Integrated Housing Projects

Winner: Habinteg Housing Association (Ireland) Ltd. for Ballyduff Park, Lifford, Co. Donegal designed by Caroline Dickson Architects










Shortlisted in this category:

  • Longford Town Council for the Fondermans project in Longford Town designed by O’Mahony Pike Architects

Category: Regeneration Projects

Winner: Dublin City Council for York Street, Dublin City designed by Sean Harrington Architects









Shortlisted in this category:

  • Tralee Town Council for Tobar Naofa, Tralee designed by the National Building Agency.

Category: Part V Social Housing Projects

Winner: The Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Docklands Housing Trust in partnership with Túath Housing for Shelbourne Wharf designed by Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and Partners.










Shortlisted in this category:

  • Meath County Council in partnership with Ratoath Independent Living Initative for Arkle House designed by McCrossan O’Rourke Manning Architects, housing people with physical disabilities.

Category: Traveller Accommodation

Winner: Meath County Council for St. Patrick’s Park, Navan designed by the National Building Agency










Shortlisted in this category:

  • Leitrim County Council for Shannonside View, Carrick on Shannon designed by Paul Keogh Architects


The Overall Winner of the ICSH Community Housing Award 2009 is:

Wexford County Council – Slí Chormaic, Duncormick, Co. Wexford.

Overall Winner of ICSH Community Housing Awards 2009 is Wexford County Council for their project at Slí Chormaic in Duncormick, Co. Wexford.

This project is situated in the heart of Duncormick village which lies 11 miles from Wexford Town and forms part of the Bannow Drive, a well known scenic tourist trail in Co. Wexford.

It is a village typical of most traditional Irish villages that in the past 10 years have fallen victim to the changing face of rural Ireland.

The housing project consists of nine 3, 2 & 1 bedroom houses.

It is constructed at the foot of a historical landmark, a 12th Century Motte which is typical of fortifications introduced during Norman invasions.

Archealogical excavations on the site uncovered Cambro-Norman artifacts and traces of an old bailey surrounding the Motte.

There were a significant number of challenges in developing this particular site.

First and foremost, it was important to ensure conservation needs were reconciled with the social and economic needs of modern day Duncormick.

With this in mind, Wexford County Council set out to design a development that would protect Duncormick’s unique spatial character and the historic structure of the site.

In doing this the County Council consulted closely with Duchas – the Heritage Service, and the local community and historical records for the village.

The result is a modern well designed paved courtyard-style project that respects the historical form of the site and the village of Duncormick. Each house, bungalow and dormer, is designed and orientated individually, turning different directions and with defensible space.

In this respect, Wexford County Council’s design team (a small technical team in the County Hall, Wexford Town) has certainly excelled.

The houses are designed as future responsive, with lifetime adaptable accommodation and ramp access capable of meeting the changing needs of tenants.

The project is fully accessible for those who have disabilities whether singles, families or older people with special attention given to finer details such as window placement, for example, to maximise natural lighting both as an aid to those who might be visually impaired and to reduce the use of artificial light.

It also incorporates successfully the use of very durable renewable materials and solar panelling to supply hot water in each of the nine houses and reduce energy costs.

Its design has been copied by the private sector.

Tenanted in 2008, nine adults and seven children now live in the project. A residents association has been formed and the tenants are actively involved creating a genuine living environment.

The first social housing built in the area in decades this infill project has considerably boosted the local economy and has rejuvenated the quiet village centre giving a new lease of life to the area and tenants we met.

An important heritage site has been enhanced helping to boost local tourism.

The rural village has regained its historical identity and focal point.

A new bailey now surrounds the 12th Motte, making Sli Chormaic a refreshing and fitting winner of the ICSH Community Housing Award 2009.

Photo: Maeve O'Brien and Geraldine Tobin of Wexford County Council are announced as overall winners of the 2009 ICSH Community Housing Award by Cllr. Sheila Buckley-Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Athlone and Donal McManus, ICSH Executive Director

For further information, please contact Kathleen McKillion at kathleen@icsh.ie or 01 6618334.