Skip to main content

About Us

Our mission is to promote planning, environmental sustainability and economic development as a process for achieving an enhanced physical environment and consequent improvement to the quality of people’s lives.

Our StoryMeet the Team

Our Story

MacCabe Durney Barnes is a multi-disciplinary consultancy company providing specialist planning, environmental and economic services. These services are delivered by an expert team with a range of professional qualifications including planning, environmental impact assessment, chartered surveying, marine spatial planning and finance.

The history of the practice stretches back to 1974, when Fergal MacCabe established one of the first planning consultancies in Ireland. In 2009, a partnership of Fergal MacCabe, Terry Durney and Jerry Barnes was formed. MacCabe Durney Barnes combined Fergal’s extensive experience in the private sector, with Terry and Jerry’s knowledge of the public sector. Fergal and Terry have been at the forefront of planning practice in Ireland and contributed to developing the planning profession over a period of 50 years.

MacCabe Durney Barnes Ltd was formed in 2016 with Jerry Barnes leading the company as Managing Director. Richard Hamilton joined as a Director in 2021.

Meet the team

Our Approach

MacCabe Durney Barnes provides a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to the delivery of services to our clients. Our professionals provide evidence-based solutions in the formulation of policy and the delivery of projects. The practice provides a personal and focused service to a number of high quality clients. It serves both the public and private sectors and has a considered knowledge of the factors which are critical to achieving development goals serving the common good. Its insight into the workings and motivations of each sector is critical to its success.

Our Expertise

Our team is highly skilled with a varied and complementary set of professional qualifications, research capacity and experience. This ensures a high quality service is provided to our clients and in the delivery of projects.

Our professional skills include environmental and spatial planning, chartered surveying, marine planning, law and project management.

All staff are members of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our professionals maintain their standards through appropriate continuing professional development and training.

Contact Us

Meet the Team

Jerry Barnes


Jerry co-founded MDB in 2009 and is the managing director of the practice.  He has over 30 years experience as a planner and chartered surveyor in both the public and private sectors and has held senior positions in the Dublin Transportation Office, An Bord Pleanála and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.   Since entering private practice in 2006, he has represented a large number of public and private sector clients, managing a wide range of projects from development applications, planning strategies and research projects.

Education & Affiliates

Jerry holds a BA, MPhil in Environmental Planning, Masters in Public Administration and MSc in Planning and Development Economics. He is a past chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute (Ireland) and of the Planning and Development Division of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), in addition to being a former council member of the Irish Planning Institute.

Richard Hamilton


Richard is a Chartered Town Planner with 28 years experience in private and public sectors covering a broad range of practice including strategic planning and development management (application preparation and appeals).  His extensive environmental planning experience includes EIA Screening, EIA Management and expert witness for strategic infrastructure, residential and Transport/Active Travel projects as well as SEA/IIA for various plans.

Richard has expertise in the preparation of local planning studies, regeneration, feasibility studies, town centre health- checks and community/social infrastructure audits.  This entails analytics and policy development, extensive community engagement and integration with urban design, conservation, infrastructure and transportation/movement.

Education & Affiliates

Richard holds a BA, an MSc in Town and Country Planning and a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Monitoring Assessment and Engineering (EMAE).  He also has a Diploma in Place Management and Diploma in Project Management.  He is a member of member of the Irish Planning Institute and a former chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute (Ireland).

Sybil Berne


Sybil is an associate planning consultant with over 10 years of experience, with expertise on both land and marine environments. She is experienced in the preparation and coordination of large and complex planning applications. Her development management experience includes residential, commercial, renewable energy, large energy users and industrial developments. She has undertaken many commissions on behalf of public authorities including social and affordable housing and strategic planning. Sybil has also undertaken research commissions on behalf of State Agencies and Government Departments on marine spatial planning, offshore renewable energy and environmental assessment.  She is part of MDB’s team on EC funded projects on marine management and critical raw materials.

Education & Affiliates

Sybil holds a BSc in Spatial Planning and Urbanism, a Masters in Regional and Urban Planning (MRUP), and a MSc in Marine Spatial Planning (Distinctions). She is a Corporate Member of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) and a Full Member of Institution of Environmental Sciences.  She is a member of the IPI Marine Spatial Planning Committee.

Michelle Ball

Senior Planner

Michelle is a Senior Planner with MDB. Since joining the practice in 2022, she has prepared and coordinated planning applications, environmental impact assessment reports, submissions and planning appeals for a variety of projects, including residential, mixed-use and infrastructure developments. Michelle has also been involved in research projects on behalf of State Agencies and Government Departments. Prior to joining MDB, she worked in the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) where she gained considerable experience in navigating planning policy and legislation.

Education & Affiliates

Michelle holds a BSc in Spatial Planning from TU Dublin and also completed a MSc in Sustainable Transport & Mobility at TU Dublin in 2023, receiving a first class honours. She is a Corporate Member of the IPI and Licentiate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Darragh Friel

Town Planner

Darragh joined MDB in 2023 as a Town Planner bringing eight years’ experience of research, project support and geospatial skills to a variety of roles. Since joining MDB, he has undertaken economic viability reports, community infrastructure audits, EIA screenings and contributed to the EU-funded CIRAN initiative. He previously worked with the Land Management Team of Uisce Éireann. Darragh has also contributed to work with Queen’s University, the European Committee of the Regions and the Chamber of Commerce. Darragh is passionate about the dynamics of space, place, and culture, committed to contributing to sustainable and inclusive environments.

Education & Affiliates

Darragh’s academic background includes a MSc in Planning and Development from Queen’s University Belfast and an MA in Human Geography from Maynooth University. He also holds a BA in Geography, a Professional Diploma in Project Management, as well as Certifications in Social & Cultural Anthropology and geospatial technologies. He is a licentiate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Dean Brickland

Town Planner

Dean is a Town Planning consultant at MDB. He has experience on a range of public and private projects, including planning applications, research, EIA Screening and Social Infrastructure Assessments. Dean has authored planning reports for several greenway projects and various Part 8 and Part 10 planning applications. He also has experience in the preparation of Local Economic and Community Plans and Housing Need Demand Assessments.

Education & Affiliates

Dean holds a BSc in Spatial Planning from TU Dublin. He is a member of the RTPI Ireland Executive Committee and the Chairperson of the RTPI Ireland Young Planners. He is a Licentiate Member of the RTPI and Graduate Member of the IPI.

Moira McCarthy

Office Administrator

Moira is a qualified accountant, with a background in economics, development, finance and housing. She has worked in financial roles in multi-nationals, international development NGOs, Irish community and voluntary groups.  She has prepared funding capacity strategies for a variety of different bodies and has engaged extensively in capacity building for various community entities. Since joining the practice, Moira has provided business planning, financial modelling and appraisal and housing policy expertise. She is experienced in community development and has advised community groups and local authorities in areas such as Darndale, Cherry Orchard and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.

Education & Affiliates

Moira holds a BA (Hons) in Economic & Geography and MA in Development Studies. She is also a  member of ACCA.

Members of the following

Our Clients & Partners

State Bodies

Housing Bodies

Energy & Natural Resources

Local Government

Private Development

Contact us

Get in touch with MacCabe Durney Barnes today

+353 1 676