Frank McDonald (journalist)

Frank McDonald (born 1950) is an author, journalist, environmentalist and former environment editor of The Irish Times.

Frank McDonald
McDonald speaking at the Walking Festival to End Dereliction, Dublin 2021
EducationSt. Vincent's C.B.S. Glasnevin
Alma materUniversity College Dublin (UCD)
Occupation(s)Writer and journalist
EmployerThe Irish Times
SpouseEamon Slater



McDonald began his journalism career as a freelance New York Correspondent for the Irish Press newspaper from 1972 to 1973, sub-editor with the Irish Press from 1973 to 1977 and reporter from 1977 to 1978. He joined the Irish Times in 1979, becoming Environment Correspondent in 1986, a post which he held until he was appointed Environment Editor in 2000.[1] Throughout his career, his writing has focused on planning and development in Dublin, from the demolition of parts of Georgian Dublin to the effect of Airbnb.[2][3] He was a founding member of the Academy of Urbanism of Great Britain and Ireland.[1] McDonald retired from the Irish Times in 2015.[4]


  • Outstanding Work in Irish Journalism, 1979
  • Lord Mayor's Millennium Medal, 1988[5]
  • Chartered Institute of Transport Journalist of the Year, 1998
  • ESB National Media Award for Campaigning Journalism, 1999
  • ESB National Media Award for Features (Print), 2003
  • Lord Mayor's Award, 2003
  • Honorary D.Phil., Dublin Institute of Technology, 2006
  • Press Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge, Lent Term, 2008
  • Honorary member, Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, 2010
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2011[1]
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, 2019[4]


  • The Destruction of Dublin, Gill and Macmillan, 1985
  • Saving the City, Tomar, 1989
  • Ireland's Earthen Houses (jointly with Peigin Doyle), A&A Farmar, 1997
  • The Ecological Footprint of Cities (editor), International Institute for the Urban Environment, 1998
  • The Daily Globe: Environmental change, the public and the media (contributor), Earthscan, 2000
  • The Construction of Dublin, Gandon Editions, 2000
  • Chaos at the Crossroads (jointly with James Nix), Gandon Books, 2005[5]
  • McDonald, Frank; Sheridan, Kathy (2008). The Builders. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-141-03780-6.[6]
  • Truly Frank (2018)[7][8]

Personal life


He was born in Dublin in 1950, growing up in Cabra.[9] He was educated at Kelly's Private School Cabra Road, St. Vincent's C.B.S. Glasnevin and University College Dublin,[5] graduating with a BA (History and Politics) in 1971. During his time in UCD, he was editor of the Observer from 1970 to 1972, deputy president of Students' Representative Council from 1970 to 1971.[citation needed]

He has lived in the Temple Bar area of Dublin[3] since 1995.[10] He married his long-term partner, Eamon Slater, in 2016.[2]

In 2010, he admitted to hitting a female manager in the River House Hotel in Eustace Street, after becoming frustrated with the high level of noise coming from the hotel's Mezz bar and nightclub.[11] In a subsequent licensing case, the Dublin Circuit Court heard that complaints about the premises dated back over 15 years and the judge said they were "well-grounded", but the licence was ultimately renewed.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Frank McDonald | Judging Co-Ordinator". architects-awards. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b Barry, Aoife (1 December 2018). "Frank McDonald: 'I wanted to paint a picture of Ireland in the 50s and 60s - it was a different country'". Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b O'Toole, Jason (7 November 2018). "The Full Hot Press Interview with Frank McDonald". Hotpress. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b Holland, Kitty (9 December 2019). "Former Irish Times journalist honoured by College of Surgeons". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Architecture Foundation: Biographies" (PDF). Wayback Machine. 28 September 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 September 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  6. ^ "A review of 'The Builders' by Kathy Sheridan and Frank McDonald". Sunday Tribune. 12 October 2008.
  7. ^ Harris, Anne (27 October 2018). "Frank McDonald's memoir takes on politicians, Catholicism and 'The Irish Times'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  8. ^ Gleeson, Colin (30 October 2018). "More than 100 people attend launch of 'Truly Frank' in Dublin". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  9. ^ McDonald, Frank. "Frank McDonald: 'It took me years to accept who I am. I'm still working on it'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Frank McDonald". Dublin Inquirer. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  11. ^ Managh, Ray (5 May 2010). "Journalist hit hotel woman for 'smirking' -". Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Judge lifts live music ban on Dublin hotel". The Irish Times. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2020.