Architectural and engineering firms have been shedding qualified professionals, technicians and senior executives in the past three to six months at an alarming rate. Some, like Dublin architecture firm O’Mahony Pike (OMP), have admitted that they have no other option, due to the contraction in the building sectors both here and in Britain. Senior industry sources believe that as many as 1,000 architects among the 3,000 currently employed here will be out of work by the end of the year. Construction sector-dependent engineering jobs are being equally hit. Sean O’Laoire, president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), said that anecdotal evidence suggested significant redundancies in the sector.