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June 6, 2009

McGrath, Raymond (1903-1977)

Raymond McGrath (1903-1977) was Australian by birth though of Irish extraction. After winning two scholarships from Sydney University, he studied architecture at Clare College Cambridge. He first practised architecture in London where he was responsible for the interior design of RIBA, and was design consultant for the BBC and the Aspro factory in Slough. He moved to Ireland in 1940 because of the war where he worked for the Board of Works (now OPW) In 1948, he was appointed its principal architect, a position he held until 1968. During this period he worked on àras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle and various Irish Embassies abroad. He designed the Cenotaph on Leinster Lawn.

He also was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Hibernian Academy as well as its head and architect of its new building (1973). His major disappointment was the non-executed John F. Kennedy Memorial Concert Hall, a design which he spent much time on and which was cancelled due to the efforts of the Arts Council and Michael Scott.

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