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Covid-19 pandemic forces postponement of property awards


Jim Clery, KPMG tax partner and head of real estate

Jim Clery, KPMG tax partner and head of real estate

Jim Clery, KPMG tax partner and head of real estate

Covid-19 continues to affect the property sector, with the announcement that the annual KPMG/Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards for 2020 have been postponed.

The gala event, a highlight of the property industry calendar, had been scheduled for November. It will now take place a year later, in November 2021, and will recognise those who have led "the post-Covid rebuilding of Ireland", according to a statement from the organisers.

Sponsors KPMG have promised a "monumental event" in 2021. "We remain fully committed to promoting excellence and integrity across all sectors of Ireland's real estate industry and fully committed to the relaunch of the awards programme in early 2021 where we will come back with a reinvigorated and renewed awards programme," said KPMG tax partner and head of real estate Jim Clery.

The decision to postpone was "obviously in light of the severe impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on the real estate sector and the numerous challenges facing all stakeholders in this sector which will necessarily take priority over the coming months", he added.

Speaking on behalf of co-sponsor the Irish Independent, Paul Muldoon, display classified advertising manager at Independent News & Media, said: "We trust that property businesses across Ireland will continue to support each other at this difficult time and that together, we will kickstart the rebuilding of Ireland."

Last year's gala dinner and awards ceremony was held in the National Convention Centre in Dublin, and saw Dublin City Council collect the overall award for excellence for the regeneration project at Dolphin House in Dolphin's Barn, Dublin 8.

Other winners included John Paul Construction (contractor of the year), Cairn (excellence in planning, for Oak Park development, Naas), and architects Carr Cotter Naessens and Denis Byrne Architects for their work on the Gardens International building in Limerick.

Looking to the post-Covid property sector, the organisers suggest that the industry focus on "preparedness and agility" as governments introduce measures such as mortgage and rent holidays and restrictions on evictions.

"Some countries have suspended construction and the great news is that Ireland is getting back to building since May 18.

"Together, let's support developers and construction workers and applaud their return as a positive symbol of recovery ahead," the organisers' statement said.

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The sponsorship of a PhD research project is part of the awards system, and the current recipient of the PhD scholarhip, Lorna Colley, is due to complete her thesis on good practice and conflict of interest management, later this year.

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