FM's shift from physical maintenance to people and performance - and the need for better skilled workers - dominate the continent's FM development themes in 2017.
15 May 2017 | Martin Read and Jamie Harris
The uncertainty caused by Brexit is understandably top of mind here. How will cross-border business be conducted if there are fresh formal borders between Northern and southern Ireland?
Pat Gaughan expects the impact not to be as big as some fear, with Ireland's status as home to the European headquarters of many huge international tech firms - Facebook, Google, LinkedIn - a key factor. The presence of these firms connects Ireland to global best practice in FM, with agile working in particular to the fore.
In general, Gaughan rates the practice of FM as "a bit behind the UK", but the country has close associations with BIFM, which it sees as the international lead in terms of best practice.
"We're seeing a moment in our public sector in particular where there's more appreciation of agile working, open-plan offices, and greater flexibility in how FM is delivered."
The public sector lagged behind the private sector, but it's catching up quickly in particular due to government relocating several public sector departments into business districts alongside private sector organisations.
Indigenous service providers are starting up again to service clients keen to look beyond the established major players. The requirement is for a "more homely" and "old fashioned" service, suggests Gaughan.
The problem of recognition at government level is not dissimilar to the UK. Gaughan believes BIFM can help here, recent relationship-building being driven by BIFM's Ireland committee. "What FM needs is more of a voice to government representing the profession."
As to the overall appreciation of FM's value? That, believes Gaughan, will be driven principally by those global firms resident in the country driving standards upwards.
"That's key for FM - how it's able to adapt to circumstance and demand. It's something we need to challenge ourselves constantly about."
The mix of FM professionals is demographically similar to the UK, with a new generation of university-educated millennials changing the mix.
But the whole education piece is critical, says Gaughan. "Ensuring that there are learning opportunities at the lower end of FM as well, for cleaners and caterers etc. There hasn't previously been any great investment from organisations in their FMs. What we need are more short-term courses and training."
We're broadcasting live at 12 noon BST on World FM Day, Wednesday 17 May. You'll be able to hear audio interviews with some of the international correspondents mentioned above, as we capture a snapshot of FM across the globe in 2017, as well as live discussion on the issues and themes that have arisen. Tune in here.