Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Reimagine Projects Around Ireland


Reimagine Mountrath

Reimagine Mountrath

Hometown Architect in Mountrath, Co Laois, explores creative ways to reconnect the town with the Whitehorse River as a link to its textile history.

Mountrath has a rich history dating back to the 17th century, and its location on the Whitehorse River allowed the town to become an industrial hub with extensive linen and cotton weaving traditions. This project seeks to creatively explore, with the local community, how the town can reconnect socially, culturally and artistically with the Whitehorse River.

Reimagine Mountrath is one of three projects selected for Hometown Architect 2024. The Mountrath project proposal met the Hometown Architect brief by focusing on an issue of particular concern, and an opportunity or innovation for town centre regeneration in line with the Government of Ireland’s Town Centre First Policy. This policy aims to make town centres across Ireland viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit.  

The team for the Mountrath Hometown Architect project is Joseph Mackey (Joseph Mackey Architects), Denise Rainey (Town Regeneration Officer with Laois County Council), and the Mountrath Town Team, which comprises representatives from all the local community groups in Mountrath.

Speaking on behalf of Mountrath Town Team, the chairperson Mark Sheeran said: “This project will provide an opportunity for the Town Team to engage with an architect and create a connection between the Town and one of its most important amenities, the river.”

A series of workshops are currently being organised to engage and collaborate with the community and local stakeholders in order to discuss and explore the town’s relationship with the Whitehorse River. Further information will be available at and on the Irish Architecture Foundation’s social media.

This is the second round of Hometown Architect, which supports collaborative regeneration projects by architects and community groups in small and medium sized towns outside of major urban centres. The Mountrath project is one of three that have been selected for development funding of €10,000 each plus mentoring and practical support from the IAF’s experienced placemaking team. The other towns are Bailieborough, Co Cavan and Moville, Co Donegal.

For updates on this and other IAF Reimagine projects, subscribe to the Irish Architecture Foundation newsletter or follow the IAF on social media.


Photos by Barry Cronin. Top: Andrew Forde (Department of Rural and Community Development), Joseph Mackey (architect), Denise Rainey (Laois County Council), and Emmet Scanlon (Irish Architecture Foundation) at the Hometown Architect 2024 launch in Bailieborough, Co Cavan.

Bottom left: Denise Rainey (Reimagine Mountrath) and Anthony Doogan (Reimagine Moville). Bottom right: Joseph Mackey (Reimagine Mountrath) between Anne O’Toole and Frank Cooney (both Reimagine Bailieborough).

Hometown Architect is part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine programme, which aims to connect communities with architects to co-design and improve their local built environment. The Reimagine programme believes that local insight and tacit knowledge from all stakeholders are integral to developing solutions for our urban spaces, fostering a sense of agency, ownership, and pride among participants.

Funded by the Arts Council and Department of Rural and Community Development, with additional support to the Irish Architecture Foundation from the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage. This project aligns with the national Town Centre First policy, which aims to revitalise towns across Ireland, building and sustaining vibrant town centres where communities can flourish.

Hometown Architect Type_border

Next Project

Reimagine Bailieborough

Reimagine Mountrath
IAF Re-Imagine