Niamh Mooney is an Executive Valuer with Dublin City Council.
Niamh has been with Dublin City Council (DCC) since June 2017, and finds the work incredibly varied: “Everything and anything comes to the city valuer’s office, from developments and statutory valuations, to regeneration projects. DCC also has an extensive property portfolio, and we provide valuations for that”. Niamh studied Property Economics at DIT Bolton Street, and graduated during the recession. She returned to her native Waterford to work for Guiry Estate Agents, which she says was great exposure for a graduate: “I could see the impact of the recession outside Dublin. We did agricultural land sales, residential work, and sale of entitlements. It was tough, but worth it to gain invaluable experience”. She attained her Chartered Surveyor designation, then returned to Dublin in 2014 and worked for GVA Donal O Buachalla before moving to her current role.
Making the most of the city
With so much going on, there’s no such thing as a typical day: “Our main goal is to achieve the best use of the city and its environs. I’m not tied to the desk, as we do a lot of inspections. It’s one of the best attributes of being a valuation surveyor, and it’s fantastic to get exposure to so many different projects across the city”. One of the projects Niamh is currently involved in is sourcing properties to serve as family hubs for families affected by homelessness. These are just one of a range of measures DCC is utilising to deal with this crisis, and Niamh explains that the process of finding a suitable property can be complex: “We are incredibly fussy about what we take. The building has to be up to standard. Suitability and safety are our number one priorities, but we look at issues such as capacity, and location in relation to schools and other vital amenities. Once a building is deemed suitable, we do a valuation and enter negotiations with the potential landlord”. The Council is also looking at development agreements as a means to provide the best use of the city’s land: “Rather than just selling off a piece of land, we look at developing it in agreement with somebody. It’s about looking to the future, and how developing that site is going to provide its best use back to the city”.
Niamh’s interest in surveying began as a teenager watching property programmes on TV: “I was fascinated by it all. I used to go to public auctions and found them really interesting and exciting. Then, during Transition Year, I went on work placement in a surveyor’s practice and that confirmed for me that it was what I wanted to do”. Outside work, Niamh is very involved in the SCSI (“It’s a great organisation and it’s hugely beneficial, both professionally and socially”), and in Macra Na Feirme, and she recently took up cycling.
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