Tens of thousands of people recline on his chairs daily but Gavin Duignan will never forget the moment a pontiff graced one of his carved creations.
Pope Francis entered the Apparition Chapel in Knock on an historic morning last August, perched on Gavin’s chair and prayed silently for a few moments. Specially-commissioned, the chair had been designed by Gavin of Irish Contract Seating (ICS) Furniture.
For many weeks the project was quietly worked on by skilled craftsmen at ICS in Dromod. Gavin delivered the chair himself to Knock just before the visit, calling it ‘one of the proudest moments of my career.’
ICS was started by Gavin’s father Charlie Duignan and still operates out of the same premises. Now employing 18 staff members, the company have completed over 3000 projects to date including the complete seating refurbishment of Knock Basilica in 2016, Christchurch Cathedral, as well as bespoke pieces for St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Ground Zero in New York.
The company has diversified into seating for public places, schools and conference facilities. One ICS design has just been named as a finalist in the Irish Design Institute Awards 2018. The ICON 40 chair (see below) was picked from over 350 entries to the competition.
‘It’s a great honour to have a chair nominated for an Irish Design Institute award and it means that the ICON 40 now ticks all the boxes for both functionality and aesthetic appeal,’ explained Gavin. ‘For now we must sit tight (sorry!) and see what happens on January 24th.’
• ICS are on stand B1 at CRE North 2019 and stand S142 at CRE 2019