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As for Letterkenny council offices: We have had Tarla as a tutor in level 5 for all of this year and he was very happy to show us around his building. Being a regular visitor to that end of the country I had watched the building rise in all its stages and been intrigued as to who, what and why? As with the McCullough Mulvin building in Dungloe, the Letterkenny building was borne out of enlightened procurement and an innate understanding of value over worth.

The main reason why Southern (and a lot of Northern) architects don’t like working in Northern Ireland (particularly working with public bodies) is the hangover of the Thatcherite era of agressive fee tendering above all else. As a consequence buildings invariably look if though they have been procured in this way, resulting in a tragic lack of quality in many of NI’s key public buildings.

“know the cost of everything and the value of nothing,” a well worn phrase up here.

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