20.06.13 The green roof at St Columbs Park House is in full bloom and can be enjoyed by those using the Residential Reconciliation Centre from a floor to ceiling window on the first floor landing.

22.05.13 DONs recently completed Fab Lab held its official launch today. The successful global concept was originally set up by MIT to inspire people to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to digital manufacturing technologies such as 3D printers.

21.05.13 Work at DON school project Gaelscoil Adhamhnain Letterkenny is progressing well.


Jimmy Donnelly DON with
Neil Morris & Glenn Jordan of Skainos receiving the Project of the Year award form Michael Hannaway Chairman RICS

10.05.13 On Friday 10th May DON were delighted to win the RICS Community Benefit award and be highly commended in the Regeneration category.

But the highlight of the afternoon was winning the coveted Project of the year for the Skainos Project Belfast.

12.03.13 DON are delighted to announce that the Skainos project had won the Sustainable Communities & Regeneration Category at the Northern Ireland Sustainable Planning Awards 2012/2013, held yesterday at Stormont.

17.02.13 Refurbishment works at the Ashton Centre and Holy Family P.S. Fire Upgrade works both started on site today.

01.01.13 DON have been appointed by Armagh City & District Council to refurbish St Patricks Trian and develop the tourism facility as a community hub for the city.
Check back for regular updates.

29.11.12 Wild flower meadow seeds being sown on the roof outside Age Concern at Skainos

23.11.12 Skainos was officially opened today by First Minister, Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness

22.11.12 DON community project at Frances St was officially opened today. Pictured here are Aileen Parker, Project Architect, Eugene Walker, Maghera Developments, Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development and Cathy Rice, Ards Community Network.

16.11.12 St Columbs Park House was officially opened today. The building serves the community as a residential reconciliation centre and cafe.

14.11.12 Congratulations to DON clients East Belfast Mission on winning the Best Social Economy Business at the recent Belfast Business Awards.  Well done guys!

09.11.12 DON latest Education project Gaelscoil Adhamhnain Letterkenny is well under way. Floor slabs were poured today.

22.10.12 DON staff enjoyed a site visit to Skainos today to see the building in its completed state. This major regeneration project in East Belfast looks amazing! This is the stained glass in the main auditorium.

21.10.12 Frances Street community project features in Keystone newspaper for the construction industry this month.

08.10.12 Site works have started at Gaelscoil Adhamhnain, Letterkenny. We will keep you up to date as the new school progresses.

03.10.12 Skainos is nearing handover with most of the internal fit outs completed. This is the interior office fit out for East Belfast Mission.

03.10.12 Skainos - Age Concern fit out

09.09.12 DON re-roofing project at Cushendun for the National Trust is now on site.  

09.09.12 Works at Lansdowne Shelter are nearing completion and the old RNLI boat house looks great... particularly in the Portush sunshine!

07.09.12 DON designed new build private house in Portrush is now complete. Further project details and photos coming soon in our Living section.

30.07.12 Christine Walkden from The One Show has been at Skainos today to do a piece on the vertical garden.  Wonder when it will be on TV??

27.06.12 Coleraine Borough Council have given the go ahead for a 1.5m regeneration scheme along the North Coast, designed by DON in conjunction with Shiels Flynn Landscape Architects.

28.05.12 DON Project Architect Aileen Parker was at Frances Street, Newtownards today to check up on site progress. The roof is now finished and work is progressing well inside.

23.05.12 Project Director Nial O Neill (DON) and Glenn Jordan (Skainos) were on Good Morning Ulster this morning talking about the green wall at Skainos.  Here is Glenn with Karen Atkinson, Radio Ulster.  Forward to 1:17:50 on the radio player to hear the interview in full.

23.05.12 It was a busy PR day for Skainos as a feature on our "Wonder Wall" appeared in the Belfast Telegraph.

11.05.12 It was a beautiful sunny morning today so it was an opportune time to take some photos of the brilliant artwork and green wall at Skainos! 

11.05.12 Our fabulous living green wall! (featured on BBC news today)

01.05.12 The fit-out of the first FAB LAB in Northern Ireland designed by DON is on site and due for completion at the end of this month.

19.04.12 A new SkainosCam is now in place which looks into the Civic Square. Check it out!

17.04.12 Jimmy and Aileen attended a site progress meeting today at Lansdowne Shelter. The view of The Skerries are fabulous from inside the double height space of the old RNLI shelter.

17.04.12 The windows are now in at Ballywillan Road and the stone cladding is being applied to the facade. Zinc cladding also in place.

13.04.12 Jimmy attended an RSUA tour of SS Nomadic today. This historically important ship is last surviving link to the Titanic and the White Star Line.

09.04.12 Our private house at Ballywillan Road in sunny Portrush is progressing well on site.  Next step is to install the windows and doors.

07.03.12 Refurbishment works are now well underway at Lansdowne Shelter, Portrush.

06.03.12 The first of the vitreous enamel panels went up today on the Newtownards Road facade of Skainos!!

20.02.12 Our projects at Lansdowne Shelter, Portrush and St Columb's Park House, Derry both started on site today.  Check back for updates!

10.02.12 Skainos artist Jonny McEwen has been working night and day at the factory on the Isle of White and the panels are ready for shipment! Each 1.2m high section will be stacked in groups of 4 making the finished panels 4.8m high and between 300mm - 3m wide.  The panels represent the Belfast skyline with references to Harland & Wolff which played such an important part in the history of the area.

31.01.12 Work on the 500m2 vertical green wall at Skainos is due to start in April.  It will be the first green wall to be installed in Northern Ireland. Click on the link to see the green wall plans for yourself... It's going to be amazing!

30.01.12 DON are thrilled to learn that our client East Belfast Mission won the award for Best Belfast Business at the recent Aisling Awards.  These annual awards seek to recognise the unsung heroes of Belfast.
Since 1800's EBM have worked to transform and renew East Belfast, most recently through the recycling initiatives Re:Furb, Re:Fresh, Re:Store and Vintage.
Congratulations to all involved!

26.01.12 Nial was in Newry yesterday for the official opening of Carrickore Children's Home by Health Minister Edwin Poots.  Dignitaries, staff, parents and children were there and feedback was extremely positive.  DON have created a non-institutional, warm and welcoming environment where the children are happy and feel safe.

10.01.12 A large congregation from East Belfast Mission also gathered after worship on Sunday to dedicate the new church building in Skainos.

10.01.12 Nial O Neill and Barbara Baird from DON attended the dedication of the new church building in Skainos on Sunday. They are pictured here with Neil Morris, Glenn Jordan and Allen McCartney from Skainos.

21.12.11 Anna Beeka, aged 3, winner of our European Heritage Open Day colouring-in competition called into the office yesterday with her mum.  She collected her prize and enjoyed a little party with the team.

20.12.11 Project Architect Barbara Baird gave DON staff a guided tour through the Skainos building today.  It was great to see first hand the scale of the project and how the drawings have really come to life.

20.12.11 During our visit we also got to see the first of the vitreous enamel panels that have arrived from the factory.  They are totally FABULOUS!!!

30.11.11 The first of the full size Vitreous Enamel panels that will clad the front of Skainos.

28.11.11 Good news story today from DON client's Andor Technology today as the company continues to go from strength to strength.  DON are currently delivering a major phased refurbishment and expansion of their hi-tech facilities.
You can hear Andor CEO Conor Walsh on this BBC podcast

22.11.11 Skainos today!
The steelwork for the vitreous enamel panels is going up and the facade is really starting to take shape.

07.11.11 DON Conservation have been appointed by the National Trust to carry out restoration work to Trust properties in the historic village of Cushendun, Co Antrim.

11.10.11 Ark Housing Association board members visited Phase 1 of our social housing development at Crewhill Ardglass today.

04.10.11 Passers by on the Newtownards Road can now learn all about the history of East Belfast, EBM and DON's scheme on hoardings erected along the front of the Skainos site.
The local community in particular have found this of great interest.

21.09.11 Demolition works are underway at our community refurbishment at Frances Street, Newtownards.
A large hole has appeared in the back of the building!!

14.09.11 DON have been appointed by Coleraine Borough Council to refurbish the old RNLI Lifeboat Shelter in Portrush to provide new visitor facilities.

11.09.11 DON took part in the European Heritage Open Days today by opening up The Old Throne Hospital to visitors.  Over 100 people turned up to hear a little bit about the history of the building and to see how much it has changed internally. 
Many of those who came along used to work in the hospital and it was a great trip down memory lane!

10.09.11 Demolition works are underway at Ballywillan Road Portrush to prepare the site for a new 3000sq.ft. private home for a DON client.

09.09.11 Church of the Immaculate Conception Louth Village entry

09.09.11 The Old Throne Hospital entry

08.09.11 DON Conservation has 2 projects featuring the Revival exhibition at PLACE, Fountain Street Belfast.
The exhibition showcases conservation architecture in Ulster and our entries are The Old Throne Hospital and Louth Village Church
The exhibition runs from 8 September - 29 October. Check it out!

11.08.11 The first site meeting at Frances Street took place this afternoon. Work on the Grade B2 refurbishment for ADB&CN is now underway.  We'll keep you posted on progress....

08.07.11 Confocal handover also took place at Andor Technology today.

08.07.11 IFI handover took place at Andor today. Acoustic wall panels allow staff to brainstorm at the hexagonal white boards without disturbing those working at the desks.

28.06.11 Irish President, Mary McAleese visited the Skainos site today. Project Director Nial O Neill was able to give the President a guided tour (as well as getting his photo taken with her!).  She was particularly interested to hear about the green wall and the bat boxes!

27.06.11 The Pre-contract meeting for the new community project for Ards Development Bureau & Community Network took place this afternoon at the Frances St site.  Construction is due to get under way after the July holidays.

01.06.11 Take a tour of the Skainos site with Nial O Neill

23.05.11 Nial has returned from his 460 mile charity cycle through the beautiful, if wet and windy, Scottish countryside.  The team have raised 4785 so far for Marie Curie Cancer Care... Congratulations everyone!!
Its never too late to donate though at JustGiving.com

20.05.11 Two years after the archaelogical dig uncovered the old graveyard on the Skainos site the remains of 387 individuals were re-buried today - Re-interment Event

19.05.11 Work on the Skainos site is progressing well. You can watch the action live on the SkainosCam

02.05.11 The mechanical workshop at Andor Technology is complete. Coloured glass windows take inspiration from the Andor camera. Explore light, measure light, love light. (Paul McMahon shown to scale)

26.04.11 Work at Crewhill is well under way. Self coloured render is being applied creating a textural contrast in the overall composition to the brick panels and engineering brick soldier course. Next stage: zinc canopies!

19.04.11 DON Director Nial O Neill is taking part in a charity cycle from Inverness to Stranraer next month to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Please support him (and the other 11 mad architects!) at JustGiving.com

13.04.11 Skainos artist Jonny McEwen has been busy in the factory working on the vitreous enamel panels that will clad the facade of the building.

16.03.11 Jimmy Donnelly in his capacity as a member of MAG (Ministerial Advisory Group) met with Philip Black, QUB today as part of his PhD research into Architectural Aesthetics: Exploring the Philosophies Underpinning Control.

26.01.11 Demolition is complete and construction started today at the Skainos site.
Look!.... another piling rig!!

25.01.11 A George IV silver half crown dating to 1825 has been unearthed at the Skainos site. A very nice surprise for the archaelogists!

24.01.11 Work commenced on site today for the refurbishment and extension of the Andor Technology facility at Springvale Business Park, Belfast.
Look... a piling rig!

10.01.11 Click on the link to see the finished 3D animation of the Skainos project - Skainos 3D

15.11.10 DON's sustainable social housing scheme at Crew Hill, Ardglass was in the news today... The Irish News to be exact!

08.11.10 Just in case you didn't believe us about Skainos going on site.... look!  evidence of excavating vehicles moving soil around....

22.10.10 Hip Hip Hooray!! A truly momentous day in the DON calendar!...
The IDT turned out in force this morning for the signing of the Skainos contract in the Skyline building.
We have a few days to celebrate (and recover) before the contractor goes on site on Tuesday and the hard work really starts.

24.09.10 DON staff had a site visit this afternoon to Muire na nGael primary school, Dundalk and Carrickore Children's Home, Newry.

The kids have moved into their new school in Dundalk and the refurbishment of the original school building is now well underway.

In Newry, the Children's Home is getting ready to welcome its first residents... Should someone have told Nial that his i-phone doesn't have a teleporter app to get him out the Sensory Room?

01.09.10 The final piece of the embroidered artwork was installed today at Carrickore Children's Home, Newry.  The bird theme is carried throughout the building in the form of opaque window manifestations and provides a link from the inside to the sensory courtyard garden outside.

26.08.10 The first sod was cut today at DON's social housing scheme at Crew Hill, Ardglass.
Present at the ceremony were Jimmy Donnelly DON, Margaret Ritchie MLA, Alex Attwood MLA, and Cathy Walsh Ark Housing.
The 26 new build Code Level 3 development incorporates a number of sustainable practices as part of our commitment to reduce the overall carbon footprint of all our buildings.

09.08.10 Belfast Telegraph 03.08.10

09.08.10 Irish News 03.08.10

09.08.10 Newsletter 03.08.10

04.08.10 Skainos - Where did the name come from? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?

First the easy one: it's pronounced 'skay-nos'. 

The word is derived from the original Greek translations of the New Testament.  It literally means 'tent' and became a euphemism for 'home' or the place you lived.

It was chosen as a name for the project because it expresses the hope of regeneration and renewal.  It communicates a desire to be a living, vital presence in this part of Belfast; to literally be a home in some cases, but also be a place where people of all communities find a warm welcome and where they feel valued and safe.

03.08.10 Local and national media have been keen to find out more about Skainos, our 20M urban regeneration project on Belfast's Newtownards Road.

DON Director, Jimmy Donnelly was interviewed for Good Morning Ulster
and Barbara Baird, Project Architect appeared on UTV Live in a report about the archaeological dig on the site.

15.07.10 Congratulations to Paul who is now officially an old married man. He and his lovely fiancee Natali were married today... the weather was fine and bride was beautiful.
Everyone please stand and raise a toast to Mr & Mrs P McMahon!

28.06.10 DON Conservation have been appointed by Derry City Council to carry out the refurbishment and extension of the Grade B1 listed St Columb's Park House. Works to develop the building into a Residential Reconciliation Centre will include additional conference, dining and residential areas.

07.06.10 Skainos is now on YouTube. View DON's Nial O Neill talking about the biggest community regeneration scheme in Europe here -  Skainos YouTube video

03.06.10 Work at Carrickore Children's Home in Newry is very nearly finished and looks great (even if we do say so ourselves!)  Completion is in 2 weeks time.

31.05.10 DON Conservation have been appointed by Ards Development Bureau & Community Network to carry out extensive renovations and alterations to their existing Listed Community Network Centre building in Newtownards, Co Down.

18.05.10 Skainos tenders came back today. Now the fun begins assessing the submissions! Check back at the end of June to see which contractor has been appointed...

13.04.10 Site Visit to Newry Children's Home today.  The home for children with severe and challenging behavioural problems is to be named Carrickore ('Rock of Gold').

12.03.10 The Skainos Project has gone out to tender... Yippee! how on earth will the Project Architect fill her days now? (only kidding Barbara!)

07.03.10 Aileen completed her first ever marathon in Barcelona today in a most impressive 4hrs 40mins! A big thanks to all who supported her. Well done Aileen - but there would've been easier ways to take in the architecture!! 

16.02.10 Martin has been invited by QUB to take part in a 5 week Research Trip to India this July. We wish him all the best and look forward to his CPD presentation when he returns!

02.02.10 Our very own Paula Radcliff is taking part in the Barcelona Marathon on 7 March to raise money for Northern Ireland Hospice.  To follow her story and donate online go to JustGiving
Go Aileen!!!!

01.02.10 Nial O Neill is off to India later this month on an Invest NI Trade Mission. Visiting Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore  the aim is to carry out some market research and visit potential clients, seeking a strategic partner.

04.01.10 DON staff were welcomed back to work today after the holidays with some slightly blurred (the photographer might say atmospheric!) photographic evidence of what was a very well behaved Christmas Party! 

20.11.09 Paul McMahon DON was present at the contract signing for Muire na nGael National School Dundalk.  Work has now started on site on the 11 classroom extension.

11.11.09 DON took a visit the Archaeological dig at the Skainos site today.  It was fascinating to see all the bones, artifacts and even a complete coffin that was unearthed.  All items have been meticulously catalogued and the remains will be carefully re-buried in a religious service.

16.10.09 DON have been shortlisted for Architect of the Year.  The UTV Business Eye awards are being held this evening in the Culloden Hotel so fingers crossed!
update: We were Runners Up! The guys are already planning for next year's event...

02.10.09 After months of hard work Stage 1 of Skainos is complete (hooray!) so we all went to the Bo Tree restaurant to celebrate and unwind over some lovely Thai food. Everyone was so exhausted though that a few quiet drinks after dinner was all we could manage.

31.08.09 Sam Dill, Assistant Architect and Grainne Wallace, Project Architect are the latest additions to the DON team.  Despite having witnessed us at both work and play they seem happy to stick around.
Whilst Sam seemed more than happy to pose for his picture Grainne is a little camera shy and preferred to stay in the background... for now.

28.08.09 Donnelly O Neill are over the moon today to receive ISO14001:2004 accreditation to add to our ISO9001:2008.  The practice now operates an Integrated Quality and Environmental Management System. Thanks to Nial and Tracey for making it happen.

15.06.09 Part I QUB student Martin Delaney has joined DON for a year's work experience.  After being thrown in at the deep end making a model of Skainos he is already working on a number of different projects. Asked for a quote to accompany his blog pic, Martin settled on "He's a lovely lad!"

12.06.09 Congratulations to our very own Aileen Parker who received a Masters in Architecture from Glasgow School of Art in June.  Timed perfectly to coincide with our field trip, the whole office were on hand to help with her celebrations!

11.06.09 DON's annual field trip took us to bonny Scotland this year.  It was a busy four days with plenty of buildings and interesting spaces to look at and questions to be answered.. such as, how many architects can you fit in a wall? ha ha

01.04.09 After months of intensive study to get his accreditation as a Conservation Architect, Director Paul McMahon has been awarded his RSUA Certificate in Historic Building Conservation.
Paul has great plans for DON Conservation, including it seems, work on La Sagrada Familia!

Michael McGimpsey cut the first sod of the new Children's Home at Rathfriland Road, Newry

23.02.09 Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Michael McGimpsey cut the first sod of the new Children's Home at Rathfriland Road, Newry. This sod cutting ceremony marked the start of building work on the new Children's Home for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area.

Michael McGimpsey, Minister for Health said, "The new Children's Home brings a long awaited boost in available residential child care for children with complex needs in the wider Southern Trust area. Children will receive the latest in treatment and care in a modern domestic style facility with specially adapted en-suite rooms, therapy rooms and gardens."

Nial attended the official 'sod cutting' at DON's Childrens Home site. The new Home is designed with the end users in mind within the contraints and opportunities of the site. The building is bound to the sloping site by a solid vertical plane which also provides definition between public and private. The bedrooms and living areas are designed around a private sensory courtyard whilst the surrounding landscape is planted in wild grasses.

DON keep abreast of current housing legislation

15.01.09 DON keep abreast of current housing legislation with an in-house seminar ran by NHBC on the Code for Sustainable Homes. Many thanks to Fiona, the NHBC trainer, for making the full day course both enjoyable and insightful. I think I can speak for all of us when I say talking codes doesn't quite seem so daunting anymore!

Henry Place

12.12.08 Keys of the new building at Henry Place which accommodates the Kinderkids Daycare and Mc Sweeney Buisness Centre were handed over last month to the Clients. The building was successfully finished ahead of time and on budget.

Office Manager Tracey Preshaw joins team

01.12.08 DON are delighted to welcome new Office Manager Tracey Preshaw to the team. Whilst we're all on our best behaviour to let Tracey settle in with the Christmas party looming she will soon realise what she's let herself in for!

19.11.08 After many years and several long weeks putting together all of the finishing touches we were delighted to deliver the Skainos planning application package to the Planning Service. Watch this space for further developments! www.skainos.org.

28.04.08 Portstewart Strand, run by The National Trust, is one of the top 10 visitor attractions in Northern Ireland. The recent launch of their new visitor facility on 28 April 2008 was a result of 450,000 investment in a bid to improve the visitor experience and promote repeat visits to the area. The project was part-funded by financial assistance administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board through the Tourism Development Scheme.

DON participated in the much anticipated opening of new visitors facilities at the Strand. DON have worked alongside the Trust in developing this sustainable building on a very unique site. Like the living beach and the sand-dunes the natural materials used in the building will change and develop in time and with the seasons. 

Skainos projects

19.03.08 Barbara & Paul were a bit star-struck, but very happy to be given the opportunity to discuss Skainos with some very important, and interested guests!

Field trip

25.02.08 Even during our 'free time' staff found themselves drawn unexplainably to walls! DON field-trip to Berlin.