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Up to 850 residential units to be planned for Limerick

First steps in Mid-West’s largest planned residential development underway with Limerick Twenty Thirty

Limerick City and County Council subsidiary commences master-planning and planning process for Mungret site

The first step towards one of the largest planned residential projects outside the capital has been taken with the announcement that Limerick Twenty Thirty (LTT) is to develop 850 units at Mungret.

The project, as part of a wider programme of investment in public and private housing, will add further momentum to Limerick’s emergence over recent years as a destination of choice for inward investment.  A wholly owned subsidiary of Limerick City and County Council, LTT will now embark on master-planning the site and seeking planning permission for the development, which will also strengthen the city and region’s contribution to effective economic development across the island.

The 60 acre site is located on the grounds of the former Mungret College and associated buildings.  In all, the site has the potential to accommodate in the region of 850 residential units, which would make it one of Ireland’s largest planned developments.  The 200 unit first phase of the development is expected to be completed by end of 2021.

The project will be developed in parallel with the commercial sites already being advanced by LTT, which is tasked with planning and developing key strategic sites in Limerick City and County that will act as anchors for enterprise and investment locally.

Mungret is a priority area within the Limerick Metropolitan district and is a zoned urban extension of Limerick city under the Southern Environs Local Area Plan.

The site has recently received approval for funding through the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) for a distributor road through Mungret, which will unlock substantial lands within public and private ownership and trigger the development of additional residential sites, supporting community and employment uses.

The approval of funding also demonstrates a joint commitment by Limerick City and County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to the continued investment in housing delivery for Limerick.

LTT will now, in conjunction with Limerick City and County Council, embark on the creation of a detailed masterplan that maximises land-use at the site and provides for a new level of high-quality urban residential development to cater for the needs of a fast-growing dynamic city and county.

This will be followed by a planning process for the medium and long term development of the site, which will comprise private as well as social housing, in accordance with Section 5 of the Planning & Development Acts.  LTT is currently carrying out a public procurement process for the appointment of Project Managers and a Design Team to complete the master plan and to secure planning for this state-of-the-art residential development.

Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Stephen Keary said, “This is very positive news for Limerick on a number of fronts.  The ongoing economic resurgence here over recent years has turned a lot of heads nationally and, indeed, internationally.  We are now emerging with one of the most ambitious housing projects in the State.  This will have a very significant role in ensuring we have a residential stock capable of meeting the needs of a city and county that is winning unprecedented inward investment and jobs.  Furthermore, it is a significant and timely statement ahead of the finalisation of the National Planning Framework that Limerick is emerging as a city of real scale and one that will play a key role in the much needed rebalancing the national economy.”

Said CEO of LTT David Conway said: “This is another very positive step in the rapid advancement of Limerick City and County as a leading location to live, work and invest in.  From LTT’s perspective, we are now not alone developing international standard commercial/office accommodation that will attract significant investment to this region but are providing quality residential accommodation for those who come to live and work in Limerick.

“This will be a particularly attractive residential development. The development will fit into an outstanding location that comes with already developed schools, a public park, play-ground area and existing residential.  Very few sites in the country would have this level of infrastructure already at hand.”

Continuing, he said:  “We are already powering ahead with our office developments and will complete the first of those next year with our 100,000 sq. ft. development on Henry Street, which will accommodate 800 posts.  A Part 8 planning process by Limerick City and County Council is being advanced for the 550,000 sq. ft. Opera Site, which will be developed over a six year period. Both developments will be providing a LEED Gold standard office accommodation that is currently not available in Limerick.

“Thousands of jobs will be located across these two facilities alone and the exciting Mungret development, together with other city centre and countywide private and public residential investments, will ensure the required housing/residential stock is available to accommodate Limerick’s housing needs.  It will help ensure the ongoing Limerick renaissance, which we can all be proud of and excited about, is maintained.”

Pedal for Peter McVerry

Liam Brew (left), Operations Director for Actavo Building Solutions, and Declan Holahan (right), Continuous Improvement Manager at Actavo, recently completed the 140km-long Peter McVerry Trust 'Wexford Cycle'.
The dynamic duo raised over €3,000 for the charity by cycling last month from University College Dublin to the Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford.
Commenting on the expedition, Liam Brew said "Actavo is proud to have participated once again in what was a very worthy and well-organised event. We're very grateful to all who supported us, including MCD Media and many of Actavo's team, clients and colleagues throughout the country. With the aches and pains now subsided after all the exertions, we're hoping to generate some awareness and interest for next year's event, and would warmly welcome other cyclists from the construction industry for the 2018 cycle."
The Peter McVerry Trust has been responding to the needs of people effected by homelessness since 1983. The charity has developed a range of services to tackle homelessness, drug misuse and social disadvantage.
For more information on the charity, please visit

SIG Ireland appoints new Managing Director

Aidan Doyle has been appointed as the new Managing Director of SIG Ireland, a key distributor of insulation & energy management, interiors, exteriors and specialist construction products, since the 4th of September 2017.

Aidan brings a wide range of experience from the distribution and engineering business areas, having spent the last 7 years with a large global distribution business, and the last 4 years as MD of the UK/Ireland business, based in Birmingham.

Aidan commented – ‘I am delighted to be joining one of the largest building products distributors in Europe, at a time when the Irish market and the SIG business in Ireland continues to evolve’.
SIG Ireland is well positioned to provide customers with technical expertise, combined with product availability through a strategically placed network of specialist centres.


Traditional cast iron rainwater systems have been around for some time, but they are expensive, heavy and time consuming to install, maintain and repair. If you want the look of cast iron without the price tag, then turn to Cascade Cast Iron Style Rainwater from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage to add that kerb appeal and value to any project.

Offering the appearance of traditional cast iron with all the benefits of plastic materials, Cascade is a fraction of the price of cast iron.  Real cast iron products are also heavy and time consuming to work with as they need to be cut to size using grinders before being primed, sealed and finished on site. Lightweight and easy to install, the Cascade System ensures an architecturally sympathetic appearance is achieved in the shortest time possible and without the health and safety implications of handling and installing cast iron.


The comprehensive range of Cascade comes in 106mm Prostyle, 112mm Roundstyle and, for larger or steeper domestic roofs, a 115mm Deepstyle gutter profiles with 68mm round or 65mm square downpipes. For commercial projects a high capacity 170mm Deepstyle gutter with 105mm round and 4” x 3” rectangular downpipe choices is available.

A choice of Ogee, Bath, Gothic or motiffed hopper designs, water butt and planters as well as a complementary soil system complete the heritage style, allowing Cascade to add a touch of traditional style to new builds or a sympathetic touch to refurbishment and restoration projects.

Offering a ten year guarantee, Cascade is UV stabilised and ensures a maintenance free system that will stay looking great and working well for years to come.

Brett Martin’s Choosing Cascade video is available to assist with selection of the right cast iron style rainwater system to suit any project.

Also available to view is the Cascade installation video, demonstrating how quick and easy it is to install the Cascade system. The video takes installers through the process of installing the 112mm Gutter and 68mm Round Downpipe in a step-by-step guide from choosing the right tools for the job, calculating the fall, to cutting and fitting.

“It can be surprising how many installers have call backs after installing rainwater systems.” said Hayley Lowry, Marketing Manager of Brett Martin. “Our new Cascade installation video simplifies and provides how-to tips throughout the installation process to ensure guttering problems are a thing of the past.”
Visit to view the videos

The 98th Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim Brought Ripples of Excitement to the City

Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim to celebrate 100 years in 2019

First run in 1920, the Liffey swim is the oldest continuously run annual swimming race in Europe.  Jones Engineering Group, the official race sponsor for the next 10 years, was established in 1890 and was a thriving business in Dublin when the first Liffey Swim took place. It is probably one of only a handful of companies from that time still in business today.

The Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim took place on Saturday 9th September with over 500 swimmers of all ages, abilities and nationalities competing to win the coveted Cup. Every competitor has a chance to win due to a special handicap system. Participation rates in swimming and open sea races are on the up once again and this was one of the biggest yet up from 440 in 2014 and 336 in 2013. The swim of 2.2 kilometres started at Rory O’Moore Bridge (beside the Guinness Brewery) and finished at North Wall Quay in front of the Customs House and all competitors received a commemorative medal upon finishing the race.

The winner of the Men’s Event was Colin Monaghan, from Dublin Swimming Club, in a time of 36 minutes, with a handicap of 30 seconds. The Cup was presented to Colin by Tanya Doyle, Marketing Executive of Jones Engineering Group.

The winner of the Women’s Event was Anne Marie Bourke, from Dublin Swimming Club, in a time of 33 minutes, 48 seconds, with a handicap of 2 minutes. Anne Marie was presented with her Cup by Barry Steele, Business Development Manager, of Jones Engineering Group.
Jim Curley, Managing Director of Jones Engineering Group said “The Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim is a unique event in our capital city and we believe throughout Europe.  There is no other event like it for colour, excitement and spectacle.  It has a special place in the hearts of Dubliners and our own company has a strong connection to the race – our Chairman Eric Kinsella swam the race so we are delighted to sponsor the Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim. We are very excited to work with Dublin City Council and Leinster Open Sea as we begin planning for the 100th anniversary of the race in 2019.”

Hundreds of spectators turned out to watch from the quays and the bridges, to clap and cheer on swimmers as they made their way down the Liffey. There were a few showers on the day but that couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Families and friends ran alongside the competitors, as they made their way under 11 key bridges in the city, and even passing tour buses joined in on the action, cheering along with the crowd. Although the swim is a solo endeavour the camaraderie amongst the competitors is not only clear to see, it is also clear to hear, with everyone joining in for a rousing rendition of Molly Malone on the pontoon before braving the cold waters.

The youngest swimmer in the race was Lucy Collins aged 13 from the Viking Swimming Club who swam alongside her mother Isabel. Sally Newall was the oldest swimmer to compete, returning from the US to swim in the race this year with her daughter and granddaughter. The oldest Irish Swimmer was the great Liffey Veteran, Clare O’Dwyer, aged 76. Many swimmers have competed in the Liffey over fifty years in a row.

With the support of Jones Engineering and Dublin City Council next year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever. It will be the 99th anniversary of the first swim and the atmosphere is sure to be electric. The Leinster Open Sea website ( contains details of how aspiring swimmers can sign up for next year’s 2018 Season. Swimmers must be a member of a swimming club affiliated with Swim Ireland (or an equivalent overseas governing body) to be able to participate in Leinster Open Sea races. The website contains links to a list of nationwide swimming clubs so you can be sure to find one in your locality. Both Leinster Open Sea and the swimming clubs warmly welcome new swimmers from former Olympic competitors to novice swimmers who have just learned to swim over the winter.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha said: “The Dublin City Liffey Swim is the most prestigious open sea swimming race in Ireland and is considered as the All Ireland Final for open sea swimmers. I want to thank the Leinster Open Sea and Jones Engineering who work closely with the City Council every year in successfully delivering this unique event. There is something special about swimming through the city and passing the iconic Dublin landmarks along the way.”

Gus Cooney, of Leinster Open Sea Series the organising body of the race said “The Liffey Swim is the oldest continuous annual swimming race in Europe and Jones Engineering’s generous sponsorship and commitment to the race for the next ten years secures its future.” Swim Ireland have also come on board this year with us to help foster the growing interest in open water swimming. “I would like to thank Jones Engineering and Dublin City Council for their sponsorship of the Liffey swim; Dublin Fire Brigade and Dublin Civil Defence for rescue cover during the race and Swim Ireland for their continued support.”


Margaret Conway of McAleer & Rushe has won both her Gold category medal and the coveted overall 'Construction Manager of the Year Award' (CMYA) at a prestigious UK Awards event. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has been running the awards for 39 years, with Margaret beating 84 finalists and 8 other gold medallists to take the coveted title.
Margaret's achievement is all the more remarkable because it was her first role as a construction manager, working on the £22m nine storey office block at 9 Adelaide Street in Belfast City Centre which McAleer & Rushe both developed and constructed.
Working with the client Belfast City Council, Margaret delivered considerable cost savings of over £1m by reducing the height of the building and adapting the existing raft foundations for the new superstructure, as well as completing the 80-week project two months early with a clean health and safety record and an Excellent BREEAM rating.
McAleer & Rushe dominated this year's CMYA which was held in the Grosvenor House Hotel in London by picking up two further medals with Michael Yohanis and Paddy Connolly winning Gold and Silver respectively within the Leisure and Retail category. Michael won the Gold medal for his work on the construction of the £20m Adagio Royal Mile hotel in Edinburgh with Paddy winning the silver medal for his work on the £25m Holiday Inn in Manchester.
Margaret's success which saw her being recognised as the first woman to win the title, follows that of her colleague Paul Marlow who was the youngest ever CMYA winner in 2016 for a £29 million student accommodation project in Stratford, East London.
CIOB President Rebecca Thompson said: "Margaret is a true inspiration for anyone thinking of entering this exciting and challenging industry. As well as remaining in control of the immense technical and logistical challenges of her day job, her inclusive style has encouraged young people to get involved in construction. Our sector badly needs a more diverse workforce and Margaret shines out as a young leader who is making a genuine difference. We will watch her career with great interest."
Commenting on the team's achievements, Martin Magee, Managing Director, McAleer & Rushe said, "The success of Margaret, Michael and Paddy at this year's CMYA is truly outstanding.  These Awards demonstrate the diversity, inclusivity, commitment and expertise of our employees and our teams and we are immensely proud of their achievements.  Investing in our people, developing their experience and nurturing them in their areas of interest and expertise is at the heart of our success and central to our back to back CMYA wins.
Martin Doherty, Belfast City Council Project Manager added, "9 Adelaide Street was a challenging scheme in terms of programme, site logistics and budget. Margaret was intuitive to Belfast City Council's needs, always focused on delivering the scheme on time, whilst never losing sight of the importance of safety or quality. Her ability to communicate all issues and foster a real sense of teamwork set a benchmark for the project."
Martin Magee concluded, "For McAleer & Rushe it is very rewarding that over the last number of years our project work across Office, Hotel, Student Accommodation and Residential sectors of the construction industry has received UK wide recognition. Indeed, it is no coincidence that our Award winners at the 2017 CMYA have been recognised for their work on projects in Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester.  After 50 years in business this shows our growing reach and the talented skill base we have to service it."

MEDITE SMARTPLY win Website of the Year at TTJ Awards 2017

Innovative timber panel manufacturer, MEDITE SMARTPLY, has been awarded ‘Website of the Year’ at this year’s Timber Trades Journal Awards. The award category took into consideration site design, content, user friendliness, commercial effectiveness and appropriate use of technologies, before declaring the most effective.

Part of a larger rebrand project from the company, the new website was designed to provide a customer-centric user experience as well as a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the brand’s entire range of MEDITE MDF and SMARTPLY OSB products. Importantly, it unites the previous three individual product websites for ease of navigation and access, which is something customers requested.

With a clean, contemporary design, the website is supported by a custom and dynamic content management system which allows for fresh and relevant content to be uploaded including case studies, news stories, product details and technical information for download. External user testing was carried out to develop a site tailored to customer needs and expectations, allowing distributors and end users to find the solution they need in just a few clicks. This was especially critical in the stockist selector, where ease of location was seen as key.

“The new website is a true reflection of our brand,” said Stuart Devoil, Head of Marketing & Brand at MEDITE SMARTPLY. “This award win from TTJ is a real testament to all of our hard work and dedication to our customers and reflects our brand’s market-leading position in sustainable timber panel manufacturing.

We wanted to create a website which could cut through the noise of traditional B2B websites and put our customers first. We’re delighted to have achieved just that!
Not only did the awards panel compliment us on the new site, but we’ve had numerous customers and industry figures also tell us that they see it as the ‘best in the business’.”

Visit the award-winning website here:

SIGA Man-Made: No other fibre cement slate comes close

SIG Roofing, Ireland's leading distributor of roofing products for over 30 years, and synonymous in the Irish Construction Industry for their Capco Natural Slate range of products, have just launched their brand-new range of fibre cement roofing slate. Strength and durability are key features of the SIGA range - an economical, authentic and easily installed alternative to natural slate. All products are complimented by an extensive range of ridge tiles and other roofing accessories.

Contact SIG Roofing to discuss your roof finishing options –


Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage is now offering a new range of high-performance Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies which are designed to meet the requirements of Sewers for Adoption (SfA7) whilst offering specifiers and water authorities a robust, cost-effective and superior drainage solution.

Following the revised performance criteria and installation standards for all adoptable drainage networks, Brett Martin’s new range of Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies, carrying the BSI Kitemark KM 635998, are tested to EN13598-1 and satisfy both the requirements of Sewers for Adoption 7 and Building Regulations Part H1.

With enhanced sealing capacity using captive seals to prevent dislodgement and five inlets offering built-in falls to prevent blockages, Brett Martin’s Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies are available in 315mm and 450mm diameters.  Both offer superior structural strength, enhanced loading capability for long-term serviceability and improved heavy-duty risers.

“This combination of strength, loading capabilities and exceptional sealing means that our high performance chamber assemblies offer a wide range of benefits to the installer and meet all of the latest regulatory requirements,” said Chris Dawson, Brett Martin Sales Director.

Designed with the installer in mind, the lightweight chamber assemblies offer ease of installation due to watertight push-fit assemblies and a solid, stable connection using the additional connection points in the form of lugs featured on both base and riser. A stronger base allows for over 16 connection possibilities, reducing merchant stock-holding requirements for multiple base variants.

The 315mm Shallow Access Chamber Assembly complies with Building Regulations Part H1 to a depth of 600mm and SfA7 to a depth of 900mm. Pedestrian covers for foot traffic areas or driveway covers to withstand heavier loads are available, while a height and tilt adjustable frame can accommodate a surface incline of up to 15°.

For deeper applications, the 450mm Inspection Chamber Assembly complies with Building Regulations Part H1 to a depth of 3.0m and SfA7 to a depth of 1.2m. They are available with two base options for 110mm and 160mm drainage layouts and feature enhanced cross foot design for added stability. Ideal for tarmac, grass or gravel areas, the cover and frame is available in round or square options, with a safe and secure lid for compliance with Building Regulations Part H, clause 2.54.

Brett Martin also offers a range of Non-Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies in 280mm, 315mm and 450mm diameters.

All of Brett Martin’s products are underpinned by exceptional sales and technical support, ensuring that every merchant is guaranteed the highest quality of service.

For further details on Brett Martin’s range of Adoptable Inspection and Access Chamber Assemblies visit

Sisk celebrates centenary of Mayo church construction

John Sisk and Son Ltd (“Sisk”), Ireland’s No1 provider of construction services with extensive operations across Ireland, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, is celebrating 100 years since the building of St. Patrick’s Church, Newport, Co. Mayo.

The occasion was marked with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Tod Nolan PP at St. Patrick’s Church, followed by a reception at the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport.

Speaking at a reception in the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport, Hal Sisk, whose grandfather John V Sisk built St Patrick’s, said: “On behalf of the Sisk family, I am delighted today to celebrate the centenary of St. Patrick’s Church, Newport - a building of local and national significance. When Sisk built this magnificent church overlooking Newport 100 years ago, Ireland was a very different place. Nowadays the major contracts are motorways, bank buildings, massive pharmaceutical plants, and cloud data centres. So, it is great to celebrate Sisk’s presence in the West and the enduring craftsmanship displayed in such churches, and none more so than St Patrick’s of Newport.”

Referencing the historical significance of St. Patrick’s Church, local historian Joe McDermott said: “St. Patrick’s Church on Barrack Hill dominates the town of Newport. The church was erected by John Sisk & Son at the request of the then Parish Priest, Very Rev. Canon Michael McDonald - who was responsible for the building of the oratory on the summit of Croagh Patrick. While it was built 100 years ago, many people still come to admire this incredible church. The renowned ‘Last Judgement’ east window by Harry Clarke is always a big draw, but the church itself has a fascinating history, and its many features, including the superb western doorway and the beautifully restored altar, make it well worth a visit.”

Stephen Bowcott, CEO of John Sisk & Son, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to celebrate 100 years since Sisk built St. Patrick’s Church, Newport. Today is also about celebrating our more recent activity in the West of Ireland, including achievements going back 30 years such as the original Allergan Factory in Westport, the Coca Cola plant in Ballina, and other big names like Hollister, Baxter, as well as the hospital in Ballina, the Ice House hotel and many more. Today we are currently working on the fit out of new Allergan facilities and recently completed work in Eyre Square in Galway. The West of Ireland has always been an important region for our business and will continue to be so in the future.

“I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Sisk staff over the past one-hundred years in delivering projects across Ireland, especially in the West of Ireland. John Sisk & Son is indebted to their decades of service which has contributed to the success the business has achieved over many years,” Mr Bowcott concluded.

Main picture on home page from left to right, Owen Sisk, Stephen Bowcott, Thomas O’Connell, Hal Sisk and JP Sisk.

The Future of Gas Infrastructure in Ireland Conference

Pictured left to right on our home page: Liam Nolan, Head of Technical Competency, Development  & Training, Gas Networks Ireland, Sheila Lauchlan, IGEM President and Bob Hanna, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment opening ‘The Future of Gas Infrastructure in Ireland’ Conference held on 13th September in Dublin.
Over 150 delegates representing over 60 organisations attended ‘The Future of Gas Infrastructure in Ireland’ Conference on 13th September at The Grand Hotel, Malahide.  Hosted by IGEM, with Gas Networks Ireland as lead sponsor, the full day event brought together a range of speakers from industry to look at the role gas will play in the future energy mix of Ireland, from now to 2050 and beyond. Many themes were explored including the role Renewable Gas will play in decarbonising the gas network; the practicalities of injecting Renewable Gas into the national gas network;  LNG and hydrogen potential and the effects of gas quality on the supply chain.

Concrete Ticket Course Update

In February 2017 the Concrete Ticket was formally launched by  Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English TD. This major new education initiative by the Irish Concrete Society is a half-day course providing guidance on the correct handling, finishing, curing and ordering of concrete for construction. The course is suitable for those who are involved and responsible for the receiving, transporting, placing and finishing concrete after its arrival on site.

Over 200 people have now taken the course, passed the test and are now eligible to hold a Concrete Ticket that will be valid for five years. There is a fast growing demand for places on the courses, which are being delivered nationally. Bookings can made individually through the website or as part of a group of 15 or more on a date and location that suits.

More information and booking details may be obtained from the dedicated booking website:

Sisk wins Dragons at the Docks property industry fundraiser - raising over 200,000 for charity

Over seven hundred people working in the Irish property industry took part in the inaugural Dragons At the Docks dragon boat racing event, which has raised over €200,000 for the Dublin Simon Community and local charities. The overall winner was the team from Sisk, with Hooke & McDonald coming second, and Goodbody coming third in a competitive final race.

The event at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2 was organised by six of the country’s biggest property companies: Cairn Homes, Green Reit, Hammerson, Hibernia REIT, Ires Reit and Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate.  It attracted entries from 60 teams from Ireland’s leading property, financial, & legal firms, with participants racing the length of canal basin in dragon boats containing ten paddlers and one team drummer

In supporting the Simon Capital Development Fund, the Dragon at the Docks fundraiser is part of an innovative solution which will help Dublin Simon Community achieve an overall goal of 480 bed units within the next 4-5 years, helping up to 750 men, women and children move out of homelessness for good.

Sam McGuinness CEO of the Dublin Simon Community said:

“‘The funds raised from the inaugural Dragons at the Docks will support the acquisition of two apartments as part of the Simon Capital Development Fund, helping more people move to a permanent safe place to call home; making a vital difference to those who have been devastated by the homeless crisis. Each individual will not only have a place to call home but will receive vital wraparound supports such as counselling, education and employability, independent living skills and health and wellbeing to ensure they never return to homelessness and are able to rebuild their lives with their community of support around them.”

Kevin Nowlan, CEO of Hibernia REIT, one of the six cornerstone sponsors of the event, said:

““We were absolutely thrilled to see the support from our fellow industry colleagues, and are delighted to be able to raise these significant funds for the Dublin Simon Community. This is the first of what we hope will become an annual event in the calendar in which the Irish property sector to help raise the much-needed funds for the homeless. Congratulations to the team from Sisk who were worthy winners of the Dragons at the Dock Challenge Cup .”

Winners of each of the categories are listed below:

Dragons at the Dock Challenge (Grand Final) – Sisk
Property Companies Challenge – Green REIT
Property Agents Challenge – Hooke & McDonald
Building Contractors Challenge - Sisk
Built Environment Challenge – RKD Architects
Legal Challenge – Leman Solicitors
Financial/Advisors Challenge – Goodbody
Fastest Time – Goodbody

Property Industry veterinarian Paul McNeive, was MC for the day, while an evening of racing, friendly competition and excitement at Grand Canal Dock was followed by a BBQ and entertainment at HQ Bar & Restaurant.

75% of the funds raised will go to the Dublin Simon Community, with the balance to be distributed to local charities in the Grand Canal Dock area.

More information can be found at

Irish Fencing-From the Ground Up

The current business landscape for companies involved in building and design is improving and becoming profitable despite issues surrounding capital investment, housing output etc. Survival during the past decade was success.

One company which has shown the resilience and determination needed to move forward through the peaks and troughs of the building industry is Irish Fencing Services. Founder and Present Chairman Terry Hobdell, recalls that Irish Fencing and Products as it was then manufactured a plastic covered concrete post and Chainlink fence system called Plastacon - essentially a green Wavin Pipe with specially vibrated concrete infill.

“We were based in a farmyard in Ballyboughal in North County Dublin and we worked with Merck Sharpe and Dohme in Tipperary, Nitrigin Eireann in Cobh and Levi Jeans in Galway with all with top builders, engineers and contractors in our first year,” he recalls.

We tried to be inventive from the start and we broke new ground as a specialist fence installation company,” “We had to learn on our feet,” he continues, “and worked in every County in Ireland North and South as probably the only show in town.

“I remember we also worked at Pat Quinn ‘s Club in Kilternan where we got our first bounced cheque which virtually wiped us out!”

“Our next big event was the advent of Palisade Fencing which in the mid-70s became the market leading product - and remained so for 15 years or so.

“Always looking for an opportunity, we adapted the system, invested in the first commercial welding robot in Ireland, and went on to develop powder coated finishes over hot dipped galvanising. This was a major milestone in our development as it was a first in Britain or Ireland, and we went on to export to the US and Continental Europe.”

The marketplace was expanding rapidly and Irish Fencing’s reputation was being firmly established. “All the time the fencing market was expanding and other contractors were opening. At one stage at the height of the boom in 2008 there were 400 companies with the word fence in their name. A far cry from the 2 in the 1973 Golden Pages,” remarks Terry. But the industry’s rapid expansion posed problems.

Image above: Sliding, Cantilever and Swing gates for every location.

“Anyone in construction knows how standards fell and corners were cut at that time, We have had 4 site visits this month alone to inspect rusting mesh fencing were the contractor had vanished, was not known or was refusing to engage. Thankfully we have not had this problem because our policy of using only proven suppliers”.

“We have examples of powder coated products over 30 years old with no problems except a bit of weathering. We have the comfort of knowing that every single piece of steel that has been made in our works has gone to Galco Steel for full hot dipped galvanising protecting the base for up to 50 years before it requires maintenance.”

This is one of the many relationships we see as a key factor in the success of Irish Fencing. Why? Terry Hobdell explains: “our relationship with Galco Steel goes back over 40 years and having a company that has had a policy of constant development and service improvement has been hugely important to us. It is important to have a domestic supplier with competitive pricing for galvanising and a certified production process up to the best international standards.

“Our loyalty to suppliers and, in return, the excellent service they provide in exchange has always been part of our business philosophy. A few pence saved on a product or service that is not of high standard is shooting yourself in the foot.

The road was not without its major bumps and challenges. Terry looks back and admits: “in common with the rest of the industry, our world collapsed in mid-2008. We were in the process of investing in the construction of a new plant and mercifully we were able pull out of the site purchase, if it had gone ahead we would have been gone by 2010.

“As it was, we lost money for 6 years and had it not been for our strong reserves and ability to downsize to a turnover 50% of what it was in 2008, we would have failed.”

“In the middle of the recession, the poison chalice of owning the company passed to Managing Director Shane Winters and Financial Director Sarah Wilson. Shane and Sarah obviously had the number one objective of returning the company to profitability and to this end they took some brave decisions. No one was made redundant during this period, as much work was brought back in-house.

The loyalty of the workforce some of whom are with us since 1973 was immense”. Says Shane
“A secondly objective Shane and Sarah aimed for was to bring the business to a different level regarding documentation, health and safety, production and customer service. To achieve these goals extra specialised personnel were recruited to these areas to improve standards,”.

Image on right: Irish Fencing Services can provide railing solutions for large and small projects.

“Outside accreditation was considered essential firstly because of the demands of larger customers, secondly because it set internal disciplines, and thirdly because it hugely reduced the amount of paperwork necessary at tender stage or commencement of a project.”

To this end, CIRI and Safe-T-Cert accreditation have been obtained and CE Marking for those products requiring it Production is now adopting and operating many Lean Systems and this creates efficiencies and improves work flow.

Thinking strategically had paid off for the company so many times in the past and again such dynamic management resulted in a major commitment to try to relocate the company’s premises. “the 2008 ambition to move was now an imperative. We desperately needed to get a property with extensive yard space as our supply only business was growing rapidly. Loading and unloading in our cramped space was a nightmare continues Shane.

“In 2016, we purchased and equipped new premises with state of the art equipment, with over 6000 sq. metres of space, convenient access and egress and more than ample parking 500 metres from The Naas Rd in Inchicore.

Image on left: Tullamore Dew used Irish Fencing Services to enhance their new facility.

“We now handle over 400 inward and outward movements per week, with speedy turnaround for our suppliers and customers,”

“As the supply side of our business has grown, we needed to assess our delivery strategy. After examining the pros and cons of having our own transport we determined that we are far better off using a specialised logistics company and opted for C.A.B Freight Services who provide us with a wide range of specialised vehicles with Cranes or other lifting equipment, as well as different sizes and design of truck giving us total flexibility. “They can service our onsite personnel as well as supply customers and provide an amazing service” adds Anthony Smyth, Transport Co-ordinator.

The evolution of Irish Fencing was happening apace. “The change of emphasis in its business model the new location and a desire to refresh under the new ownership of Shane and Sarah resulted in the company rebranding to Irish Fencing Services.

Sarah Wilson takes up the story: “the new branding was important in refreshing the company at many levels, to move forward into the better period we anticipated after the pressure years from 2008 to 2014. The help we got in this exercise from Garrett McKeagney of Goldfinch Design & Strategy was incredible.

Image on right: Irish Fencing Services can bring experience and choice to a Housing Development.

“Our normal initial point of contact with a project is usually the Architect or Engineer where we provide specifications drawings and samples, and often visiting site to determine specialist solutions. Eventually, when a contractor is appointed, there will often be ways that we can assist in improving productivity with alternate installation methods or possibly simplified products. Our objective is to work as closely and as early as possible on a project to provide the speediest installation and the most appropriate product, and to leave the site with all parties including ourselves having made a fair and reasonable profit,” says Sarah.

“We are looking forward to a very good 2017,” she says, “and the signs for 2018 are looking positive. Foreign direct investment is always a major market for us and since 1973 we have been involved on so many multinational projects. Data Centres are currently very big business, as well as schools, indigenous companies and private individuals. However,” continues Sarah, “the effects of Brexit could cause major problems to the economy and are certainly a very worrying issue.

“Whilst the main business of Irish Fencing Services is the manufacture of Fences Gates and Railings, we are also distributors for the Iconic Kee Klamp product which is over 80 years old and is still the world’s most popular tube assembly system.”

We are also The Fencing Partners for South West Microwave and their Micropoint perimeter detection system. Micropoint has recently been used on remote unmanned perimeters by ESB Networks as well as The Dublin Port Authority, She adds: “a fully working Micropoint System is on display in our premises in Inchicore it is fixed to samples of all the different fences and railings we provide to show its performance in all scenarios. Micropoint enables monitoring of an intrusion attempt before the intruder has accessed the perimeter allowing those precious extra minutes for reaction.

“The ability to offer the widest range of fencing products with the highest on-site professionalism is our hallmark and we intend to confirm our position as the go-to fencing contractor from our Dublin Cork and Newry locations.”

Sanbra Fyffe and Herron & Son in international deal with New Zealand water solution specialist

A unique collaboration by two of the leading names in the Irish plumbing and hardware sectors has resulted in an unrivalled and internationally acclaimed range of products being launched for the Irish building market.

Dublin-based manufacturer Sanbra Fyffe, is market leader in the supply of plumbing and heating products in Ireland and Herron & Son, Sligo, is Ireland’s leading hardware distributor  

The two companies have now teamed-up with Hansen of New Zealand to bring an unrivalled and internationally acclaimed range of products to the Irish market.

Pictured (above) at the announcement of the international deal with New Zealand water solution specialists Hansen are; standing, Noel Conroy Sanbra Fyffe (left) and Colum Murphy, Herron & Son (right). Seated are Mark Fahy, and Ashley Molloy, Sanbra Fyffe Area Sales Managers.

The range of over 1,000 products from the New Zealand specialist manufacturer, who has been in business for over 60 years, includes poly compressions fittings for commercial and domestic plumbing applications.

Pictured (right) are Sanbra Fyffe staff l-r: Maria Fowler, Kimberly McDonnell and Debbie Moloney.

“There are no comparable products on the Irish market that can rival Hansen in terms of quality, cost-effectiveness or ease of use. Key benefits include the fact that one fitting can be used with all pipe types, are manufactured to withstand the harshest weather conditions and carry a lifetime guarantee.” said Noel Conroy, Sanbra Fyffes’s Commercial Manager.

Colum Murphy of Herron said that the company is proud to bring Hansen’s range of proven and competitively priced products to the Irish markets which has up to now offered little variety in efficient cost-effective water systems solutions,”

Six Hansen product ranges will now be available in Ireland. They include a new range of Easy Fit Compression fittings, specifically designed and manufactured for the Irish market.  An impressive feature of these fitting is that they can be hand tightened to 40bar.

Also available will be True Fit Threaded Fittings; True Fit Tank Fittings; Quick Connection Unions and Easy Fit Self Tapping Saddles.

Pictured left to right; Colum Murphy, Herron & Son, Debbie Moloney, Sanbra Fyffe and Noel Conroy, Sanbra Fyffe

Another highly desirable product range available for agri, rural, horticultural and irrigation use is Hi-Flo Trough Valves (Fast, Super and Maxflo). Sanbra Fyffe and Herron & Son believe that the Hansen Superflo and Maxflo valves will quickly become the next industry standard for high performance float valves.

Steve Sharpe, Director of Sales and marketing at Hansen said, “We are delighted to be working with Sanbra Fyffe and Herron. Our businesses operate very similarly and share core values and views on providing high performance, quality water system solutions for every need. We look forward to building a long-lasting business relationship together.”

The Hansen products will be promoted in Ireland over the coming months with a high level marketing campaign including a tour of the country by the Hansen Demonstration Unit and a major display area at the National Ploughing Championships at the end of September.

Detailed catalogues and specification sheets will be distributed through Builders Merchants, Co-Op stores and hardware stores throughout Ireland.

The new partnership will also increase employment at Sanbra Fyffe and Herron with 5/6 people being added to their sales and marketing team initially.

Further information can be obtained from Tel 018426255 or tel. 071 913 3100

KCC winner at the Schueco Excellence Awards

The Schueco Excellence Awards for design and innovation have become an annual event firmly established in the industry’s calendar, and continue to feature brilliantly designed and constructed buildings right across Ireland and the UK.

The awards – which are run in association with RIBA Journal in the UK – have won the respect of the UK and Irish building industry because of the high quality of the submissions they routinely attract. The only stipulation for entry is that each project should utilise at least one Schueco system and involve a Schueco UK Partner specialist contractor. This year, the Cultural Award was awarded to Irish company KCC Architectural for their work on the prestigious Newport Street Gallery in London.

Designed by Caruso St John for Damien Hirst, Newport Street Gallery has already won multiple awards including the prestigious 2016 Stirling Prize for Architecture.

KCC Architectural were subcontracted to manage the glazing element of the prestigious project and did so by introducing oversized Schueco glazing systems, which became a key design element of the building. Each of these pieces weighed almost 570kg.

According to KCC, the most challenging piece of the project was the seven structurally glazed secondary glazing units, fitted with bonded glass in Gallery 1 in the Victorian part of the building. They also fitted four further special secondary windows in Gallery 3.

‘The architect had the design intent and we had to make it happen,’ says one of KCC’s directors, David Skelly. ‘It was a significant challenge to work to almost zero tolerance on such complicated windows, and a lot of design work went into it because they were so large and heavy.’

Since the 1.7m wide x 2.3m high window size surpassed the maximum engineering constraints of the Schueco Jansen Janisol SG system, the project required design and engineering input from the team in KCC and the engineering company Clear Structures, which provided structural calculations.
The thermally broken profiles required heavy and durable steel reinforcement which was achieved through the design of bespoke large brackets which helped carry the units. Project specific tests had to be carried out on windload, fixings, bonding of the glass to the system and condensation levels, the latter being of particular importance due to the type of building being constructed.

KCC also created further windows in the project, using the same system, for newly built parts of the gallery, such as the main entrance building. These pieces measured up to 3.5m x 3m. The gallery also features Schueco Jansen glazed and flush metal overclad doors. The Judges of the 2017 Excellence Awards for design and innovation awarded KCC with the Cultural award and commended them on overcoming the challenge of the oversized glazing requirements, as well as its contribution to the overall design and feel of the project, which blends the new build with a terrace of listed industrial buildings.

A new era for Comet Stone

In business since 1985, the Comet Stone team look back on the last thirty-two years, identifying its successes and learning from the challenges of the past, as their new strategy has seen H1 of 2017 exceed all expectations.

“As a privately owned Irish business, Comet Stone has achieved great things over the last thirty-two years”, says Comet Stones new CEO, Ed Mulligan. “Since 1985 we have supplied over 1100SqKM of stone into Ireland, more than what it would take to cover the whole surface area of Dublin”.

“Our focus at the beginning of 2017 was to reinvent Comet Stone, bringing on new product ranges, changing how we do business. We have invested heavily into facilitating a number of new routes to market”.

In 2017, Comet Stone has become the single point of contact for architects, interior designers and quantity surveyors, seeking to find that unique stone.

“We have a network of buyers placed around the world, who hand-pick every piece of stone we import into Ireland, ensuring we deliver a fast service, whilst supplying quality stone”, says Dave Byrne, Construction and Specification Director.

“Our Fabricator client base hasn’t changed, but the way we create awareness of our products has proven to be very successful this year”.

With the introduction of their Engineered Quartz partners “Cambria USA and Quarella Italy”, Comet Stone has positioned itself well in the marketplace, driving consumer awareness of its products. This, alongside their natural stone range of Marble, Granite, Sandstone, Limestone, Slate and Onyx, has certainly proven popular with the Construction sector.

“I believe what makes Comet Stone different is, our customer focus ethos”, says Ed.” We take the leg work out of sourcing stone from around the world and have samples with our clients, usually within 48 hours.

As Comet Stone prepares to provide stone via their fabricator base, into some of Ireland’s largest commercial and residential projects over the next few months, the forecast for H2 and H1 2018 will see Comet Stone grow from strength to strength.

“We’re excited about the next thirty-two years”, says Ed “and are looking forward to continuing and developing further, our client relationships”.