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Bricks & mortar board; DR BRICK BUILDING ON A MODEL FOR SUCCESS.

Byline: By PAUL DAVIS

AN IRISHMAN has become a doctor in...bricklaying.

Dr Gerard Lynch earned his PhD after completing a three-year doctorate in the art of bricklaying.

The master bricklayer - dubbed Dr Brick - received his honour from De Montfort University in Leicester.

And the Doctor - who received little more that two 'O' Levels as a youngster - dedicated his achievement to his father.

"My father would have been so proud of me. He was a mechanical engineer and a very clever man. He always told me that if something is worth doing then it is worth doing well," said Gerard, from Tipperary.

Gerard has always been interested in history and this was one of the reasons for his interest in traditional bricklaying practices.

But the main inspiration for becoming a master bricklayer was his late father Jim.

"Even before I first started learning I was always interested in how they used to do things before the advent of cement or industrial machinery.

"The history side always interested me,'' Gerard said.

Gerard's research explored the traditions of English brickwork since medieval time looking at how the craft can be sustained in the future.

His thesis was on Gauged Brickwork, which involves special bricks carefully hand shaped and positioned into fine joints to create decorative features.

As part of his PhD Dr Lynch built a miniature niche - one of the most difficult features a bricklayer can make.

Gauged brickwork is the highest branch of bricklaying with only the top 5 per cent of the country blessed with the skill.

And only one per cent of the population is capable of Gerard's speciality - niche brickwork.

Gerard has given advice on landmark buildings in Britain like Hampton Court Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Admiralty House - to name just a few.

And his brickwork has taken him all over the world.

"I take great pride in the work I do and if it wasn't for the support of my family none of this would be worth anything," said Gerard, who now lives in Milton Keynes.

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'Dr Brick' Gerard Lynch with his Montford University PHD
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2005
Words:354
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