David Kelly

Retired Founding Partner
B.E., C.Eng., F.I.E.I., FConsEI

David Kelly founded the practice in 1987. He commenced his career with Dominion Bridge Company in Montreal working on steel bridge design, from where he moved to the Alberta Resources Railway Company to project manage the construction of steel bridges on a new railway through the Rocky Mountains.

Returning to Ireland, he joined a structural engineering consultancy practice in Cork city, where he subsequently became partner. During that period he designed steel structures for heavy industry, long-span structures for the manufacturing industry as well as reinforced concrete and timber structures for buildings.

He now has over forty years’ experience at partner level of project control within the design process and subsequent construction phase, including review of the design in progress for quality, efficiency and integration of structures into the overall design concept. He has acted as project manager on many and varied projects and has wide experience of contractual matters and budgetary control.

He has been actively involved in the conservation of historic buildings and monuments since the middle 1970s. He was a visiting lecturer on the conservation of historic monuments and the application of the Planning Acts and National Monuments Acts in relation to works of conservation and the protection of historic buildings and monuments to the M.Phil. (Archaeology) course at University College Cork for over ten years.

He has wide experience in the organisation and execution of works of conservation, restoration, repair and stabilisation of National Monuments, historic buildings and Protected Structures. He has also given many public lectures on architectural aspects of historical buildings and townscapes.

He delivered a paper to the Building Limes Forum in the U.K. on the historic production of hydraulic limes in Ireland.

More recently he has spoken to the Building Limes Forum in Ireland on the use of limes in conservation. He has been invited by the Department of the Environment to contribute to seminars for Local Authority Conservation Officers. He has also contributed to a seminar for the Department’s own staff on the effect of weather on historic monuments.


David has co-written or contributed to a number of publications, a selection of which are listed below:

  • ‘Ruins: The Conservation and Repair of Masonry Ruins’ Advice Series Booklet for Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government (with Margaret Quinlan and Mary Hanna) available here
  • ‘Irish Historic Towns Atlas, No. 27, Youghal’ for the Royal Irish Academy (with Professor Tadhg O’Keeffe)
  • ‘Guidelines for the Conservation of Built Heritage – Repair and Maintenance of Heritage Structures on the Inland Waterways of Ireland’ for Waterways Ireland (with Margaret Quinlan and Aighleann O’Shaughnessy)
  • ‘St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal, Co Cork’ Irish Arts Review, Vol. 20, no. 1 (2003)