Kevin Roche won the Pritzker Prize in 1982, succeeding Philip Johnson, Luís Barragán and James Stirling. He is best known here for his Dublin Convention Centre but in architect-turned-filmmaker Mark Noonan’s feature-length documentary, Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect (2017), images appear of his first, and only other, building in Ireland – a large piggery in Mitchelstown, designed for his father in 1941, when Kevin was 19 and had just completed his first year in architecture at UCD.
We have known about the piggery since Ellen Rowley published her 2008 interview with Kevin, but the images, reproduced here, had not been seen before the documentary had its world premiere in Dublin last month. It has since been shown in New York.
Eamonn Kevin Roche was born in Dublin on June 22, 1922, days before the outbreak of the Civil War. His father, Éamon de Róiste – a former Republican organizer in Limerick during the War of Independence and one of 57 members of the first Dáil who voted against ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in January 1922 – was in jail in Limerick, having been interned by the new Free State government.
After the end of the Civil War, Éamon and Alice Roche left politics behind and settled down with their young children in Kingston Square, Mitchelstown, where he’d been appointed manager of Mitchelstown Co-Operative Agricultural Society, a small creamery which he grew into Ireland’s greatest co-op, known as Dairygold since 1990.
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