Synonymous with delivering high-quality construction projects for more than half a century, Bawn Developments Ltd. enjoys a strong working relationship with Wexford County Council that dates back to 1966. Building Ireland caught up with founder / managing director Paddy Berry to find out more.
Headquartered in Drinagh, County Wexford, Bawn Developments Ltd. is a family-run construction company that focuses on building public buildings, private housing schemes, residential one off houses, commercial units, offices and industrial buildings along with civil engineering projects, mainly in the South East of Ireland.
Having operated as a sole trader since 1966, managing director Paddy Berry incorporated Bawn Developments Ltd. in 1989. Today, at the age of 80, Paddy is still very much involved in the day-to-day running of this outstanding, market-leading family business, where he is joined by sons Mick (contracts manager / quantity surveyor) and Ciaran (contracts manager / site manager) and daughter Aine (office manager), all three of whom are directors.
Bawn Developments Ltd. has worked closely with local authorities from as early as 1966 as main building contractors and their long association with local authorities in the provision of social housing schemes over the decades has confirmed their track record in the area of contractual performance. They have completed many design, finance and build projects, along with turnkey schemes in association with Wexford County Council, establishing a reliable and trustworthy relationship.
At the time of writing, Bawn Developments Ltd. were busy working on two new ten-unit housing schemes for Wexford County Council – one at Baile Eoghain in Gorey, the other at Slippery Green in Wexford Town.
The latter development, when completed, will include five two-bedroomed terraced houses and three three-bed terraced units along with two semi-detached three-bed homes. All the units will be two-storey buildings and they will be located on an infill site utilising brownfield land bounded by St Aidan’s Road and Whitemill Road. The semi-detached units will be located on the Whitemill Road side of the site while the other units will have a common entrance off St Aidan’s Road.
“We secured those two small schemes in tender from Wexford County Council last year and we’re delighted to be working on them, continuing our long association with the local authority,” Paddy states. “I always say when I see all the paperwork going in through the office for these jobs ‘all we have to do now is build them’. In many respects, the construction seems to have almost become secondary to the paperwork. Things have changed a lot.
“There was a time when I put a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a hammer and a saw in the boot of the car and off I went. And, like Malachy Sweeney, the old Ceili Band leader used to say, I picked up men along the way.”
As an octogenarian, Paddy is surely one of the longest-serving principals involved in construction in Ireland. It’s truly remarkable to think that he completed his first local authority project all of 52 years ago… “I started with Council contracts in 1966 when I built my first rural cottage at Rathmacknee, in the shadow of the famous castle of the same name. We built that for £1,500.”
Bawn Developments Ltd is keenly focused on quality control, offering an expert hands- on approach and providing professional, certified application to all projects undertaken. Their exceptional civil engineering work over recent years stands testament to their artifice and skill.
Paddy, Mick, Ciaran, Aine and the team pride themselves in their ability to complete work on time to the advantage of clients. Their budgeting strategy and precise programming of work provides vital stability of relationships with the project team.
Cutting edge architectural fine design and the latest renewable energy technology are embraced while Bawn’s highly-qualified, vastly-experienced tradesmen and general operatives – not to mention the long-serving team of tried and trusted subcontractors – provide a level of workmanship across all projects that is simply second to none.
Members of the Construction Industry Federation, Irish Homebuilders Association and with CIRI certification, Bawn Developments Ltd. are acutely aware of the critical nature of quality and safety at all times.
Regarding the secrets behind the long-term success of the family business as a viable commercial entity, Paddy notes: “Hard work has been key, and delivering projects on time. You have to be punctual. We meet people on time and we deliver on time. Hard work will get you there every time. You have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the work. I’m 80 now and still working and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I arrive in the office every morning at 8 o’clock and I enjoy what I do. Of course, Mick, Ciaran and Aine now look after most of the business. They are the future of Bawn Developments Ltd.”
Currently generating direct employment for up to 14 people plus subcontractors, Bawn Developments Ltd is very much a local contractor providing local services. The vast majority of their work is carried out within the Model County, with some of the commercial projects completed including Drinagh Motors, The Irish National Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig and Wexford County Council’s new Depot & Yard in Whitemill Industrial Estate, This project involved the construction of new offices, showers, canteen and storage facilities for Wexford County Council in conjunction with a state-of-the-art depot and yard including a salt barn, fuelling station, underground repair facility and aggregate bunkers.
Wexford Farmer’s Co-op building now occupied by Cooney Furlong, Chadwicks, MW Hire, Knockenhoy Office Centre, Ferns Engineering New Build, all situated on Sinnottstown Lane, Drinagh, Berry Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre, Adamstown, The Carpet Centre, Whitemill Industrial Estate
“There’s pucks of work in Wexford,” says Paddy. “We have never travelled. You could lose a whole day out on the road. It’s great to get home early in the evening and to be able to spend some time with your family. Family is the most important thing of all and you’ll never get that time back if it’s lost.
“If you do a good job and be able to say ‘hello’ to the people you build for, then you won’t go far wrong.
“Thankfully, we have enough work at the moment to keep us going. My sons and daughter have families to look after, too, and we’ll keep it local, look after family first and hopefully we will all continue to make a living out of this.
“We are strong enough to get by and have the financial standing and experience to keep getting the job done.”
Bawn Developments Ltd.,
Knockenhoy Office Centre,
Tel: 053 9142981
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September 2018, Vol 4 No 8