‘Bungalow Bliss’ and rural villages


Sir, – Jack Fitzsimons was described by Frank McDonald as an “amateur architect” (Opinion & Analysis, February 13th). This was an error of fact. In his lifetime, my father was a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Faculty of Architects and Surveyors, the Construction Surveyors Institute, the Faculty of Building, the Irish Architects Society and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. He worked professionally as an architect until his death in 2014 and was legally entitled to use the title of architect, pursuant to the Building Control Act, 2007. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural design technology from the University of Wales. He had the requisite professional indemnity insurance, provided certifications, acted as an expert witness in court cases and his qualifications were never questioned. Please correct the record.

As to the substance of the article, Frank McDonald ignores, as he has done on previous occasions, the particular context for the publication of Bungalow Bliss: very poor quality housing stock across rural Ireland and high professional fees, beyond the reach of most, not to mention a looming housing crisis.

My father had experienced first hand the degrading and deplorable conditions in which many people had to live. He believed everyone should have access to warm, secure homes.

He knew that if people could build better homes, they could build better lives.

He was driven by his social conscience.

My father always responded to criticisms made of him and his work by Frank McDonald, with a view to engaging in constructive dialogue.

Frank McDonald’s real issue appears to be with planning policy in Ireland. If that is the case, perhaps he should focus his energies in that department. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 8.