History of the Association
From 1899 to today…
Formed in 1899, The National Association of Master of Painters and Decorators of Ireland has an esteemed history.
As the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, the trade union movement in Ireland at the time was gaining in strength, fighting for better conditions in the painting and other sectors. During these early years, small Master painter groups were established in Belfast, Derry, Cork, Limerick and Dublin with an assembly of employers gathering in March 1896 to form a body called the Dublin Guild of Master Painters and Decorators, anciently known as the Guild of St. Luke. The Guild of St Luke, the evangelist was the Patron Saint of Painters and Artists.
“The Master Painters and Decorators of Ireland motto ‘Vis Unita Valet’ or ‘Strength in Unity’ remains the same today”
The First President, Henry Gibson presented the inaugural jewel as a gift to the association. It was made of pure gold and had the 4 provinces of Ireland depicted in enamel, it was topped by a figure of a phoenix rising from the ashes and at the lower end of the medallion is placed in Latin the motto ‘Vis Unita Valet’ which translates ‘Strength in Unity’.
The first inaugural convention of the Association of Master Painters took place in St. Stephens Green, Dublin and the conference hall was suitably decorated for the occasion with a large collection of designs for decorating works of every description. The President spoke about the state of the trade, changes in materials and business practices and encouraged Master Painters to always observe the highest standards of workmanship, which continues to this day.In 1964, negotiations commenced with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) for the affiliation of the National Association of Master Painters and Decorator of Ireland, with the then Federation of Builders, Contractors and Allied Employers of Ireland (now CIF). With the inclusion of the Master Painters who were so long in existence and had such a good reputation the deal was sealed and the association was formed within the CIF.
The Master Painters have always looked to broaden their horizons and saw the advantages that European connections would have. They joined UNIEP (The International Association of painting Contractors) in 1974 and delegates travelled to partake in the annual conferences which provided a wealth of knowledge.
Kindred Associations of England and Wales, The British Decorators Association and the Scottish Decorators Federation have provided unwavering support and assistance over the last 100 years and still attend the Master Painters Conferences.
The Master Painters and Decorators of Ireland motto ‘Vis Unita Valet’ or ‘Strength in Unity’ remains the same today and as an association, a lot has been achieved and can be achieved.