The CIF Conference 2019 takes place on Wednesday, 2nd October at Croke Park, with the theme ‘Building a profitable and sustainable industry, fit for the future’.
The Irish economy depends on a thriving, dynamic and innovative construction industry. Most Government strategies, such as ‘Project Ireland 2040’, are contingent on the construction industry’s capacity, adaptability and innovativeness.
But barriers are impacting the industry’s ability to deliver on these ambitious strategies. With an acute housing shortage and significant infrastructure deficits, policies and practices have to change within the construction ecosystem to release the industry’s enormous potential to shape Ireland’s economic future.
Recovering from a dramatic decline and now back on a strong growth trajectory, the construction sector will be a crucial job creator over the next decade and beyond. The industry and Government must ensure that the hard-won recovery is sustainable to avoid the boom/bust cycles that have bedevilled construction in the past.
Some clouds are gathering. Brexit looms large and the continuing skills shortage in the industry, as well as the issues of diversity, equality and inclusion in the workforce, all which need to be addressed urgently. In addition, the planning system needs to be recalibrated to be more efficient, and investment priorities need to be adjusted to achieve balanced regional development. The public sector procurement system also needs to be improved, and there must be adequate funding in the industry.
These are some of the issues that will be explored at the CIF Annual Conference 2019, the flagship industry event that attracts more than 500 delegates.
Join contractors, home builders, planners, engineers, investors and suppliers at this annual conference as we explore the fundamental issues we need to address to grow our industry profitably and sustainably.


An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will open the conference during the morning session.
CIF President Pat Lucey will then address the conference, before international keynote speaker Kjetil Tonning, President, European Construction Industry Federation (ECIF), makes his presentation.
In his presentation, Kjetil Tonning will discuss the ECIF vision for Europe in 2050 and what needs to be done to achieve this, including the main challenges that lie ahead for construction ecosystem in delivering a productive, competitive, balanced and sustainable European model.
Speaking to Construction magazine, Kjetil Tonning said, “The construction sector is the essential partner to deal with today’s challenges of building sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure and creating “zero energy” buildings and smart/digital cities. We are equipping existing workers with new skills while attracting young people into a modern, innovative industry, that will give them exciting long-term career prospects.
“The construction industry will provide the appropriate solutions for better living and working environments, mobility and economic growth in Europe.”
Economist, author and broadcaster David McWilliams will speak about the need to invest in infrastructure and for the Government to support innovative developments that will reshape Dublin and the rest of Ireland. He will also discuss the need for the construction sector to be inventive and creative in how it delivers projects.
Other morning speakers will include Matt Gough, Director of Innovation, Mace, UK, who will discuss how the industry is entering the age of mass-manufactured buildings and how this is going to change the industry and define new categories of building. Dermot Flanagan, Senior Counsel, will address the implications of delays in the Irish planning system for development projects.
The afternoon session will include an address by Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.
Ann Bentley, Global Board Director, Rider Levett Bucknall, and Construction Leadership Council board member, will discuss smart procurement and how to modernise and transform procurement practices, with a panel discussion on the same topic to follow. Alison Watson, MBE, founder and Chief Executive, Class Of Your Own, UK, will address the subject of how to get young people excited about careers in construction.
The conference will include additional presentations and numerous industry expert panel discussions on issues of concern.
Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates will chair the conference.


The CIF is grateful to Gold Sponsors DRS Bond Management Limited; Topcon; Philip Lee, Mace; EY Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for their support. It would also like to thank Silver Sponsors Client Solutions; CRH and Downey Planning and Architecture. To book your seat at the CIF Annual Conference 2019, visit www.cifconference.ie