Contractor of the Year Award made Harry’s day

1 May , 2019  

There were jubilant scenes at the 2018 EIFI Electrical Industry Awards Lunch which took place in the Red Cow Moran Hotel on September 21st last when H. Shiels Limited was named the AECI (Association of Electrical Contractors of Ireland) Electrical Contractor of the Year.

With 50 years’ experience in the industry, Harry Shiels was a very popular recipient of the prestigious award from Phil O’Kane of sponsors Eaton.

Connecting people to power since 1987, H. Shiels is a leading Electrical Contracting Firm based in Dublin.  The company works in all aspects of the Electrical industry including Commercial, Retail Outlets, Shopping Centres, Office Fit-outs, Schools and Colleges, Religious Orders, Hospitals, Filling Stations and Convenience Stores, Heritage and Listed Buildings, Swimming Pools and Recreational Centres, Hotels, Financial Institutions, Dublin Airport and Public Contract Works.

“Receiving this accolade meant a lot to me. I was ecstatic,” Harry enthuses.

“I never set out to be the biggest but always strove to be the best.  I heard on the grapevine that we had been nominated but you can never tell what is going to happen after that.  Great credit is due to our brilliant team.   You are only as good as the people around you and we are like one big happy family.

“I have been in the business for a long time and have no intention of retiring.  I enjoy a great rapport with our clients.

“As a rule I attend the First Site Meeting of any project we are awarded and introduce the Contracts Director / Manager who will be responsible for the project to the client.   I am only a phone call away at all times.  My philosophy to my Management Team is that our existing clients come first even if it is at the expense of growth.

“I love a challenge and am proud of the great relationship I have with former staff members who have ventured out on their own and who I still give advice to on a regular basis”

Harry continues: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who voted for us and also the EIFI for organising the awards”.

The affable Managing Director has been involved in the industry since late 1960 when he served his apprenticeship with Patrick Lynch Limited which was one of the oldest and most respected firms in the trade.  “It was a fantastic place to serve an apprenticeship,” he fondly recalls.

Harry worked extremely hard at learning his trade and perfecting it and with the help of the company went back to night school to further his education.  He graduated with an Engineering Degree and after a spell as a charge-hand was made a Contracts Manager looking after medium to large contracts at the age of just 24.

The charismatic Dubliner continued to progress within Patrick Lynch Limited and at the end of 1975 was appointed to the Board of Directors and also became the company’s first Contracts Director with responsibility for large contracts such as Beaumont Hospital, Wheatfield Prison, MEPW Shopping Centre Dun Laoghaire, Central Bank Dame Street, Currency Centre Sandyford and the Jones Lang Multi Office Development in Kildare Street, which was the biggest office development in the country at the time and is now known as Agricultural House.

During this time, Patrick Lynch Limited had about 300 electricians on their books and Harry was responsible for all the co-ordination meetings with the Trade Unions who he has always had a good relationship with.

In 1979, Harry was appointed Assistant Managing Director Of Patrick Lynch and was instrumental in setting up the Middle East Operation in Doha, Qatar which was a consortium between Patrick Lynch and a very influential local Arab Family.   In addition, he was involved in overseeing the running of the Contracts and selection of Staff and Procurement.   Not long after he was also involved in setting up the London arm of the company and assisting in the running of same.

A desire to set up his own company led to Harry resigning from the Board in 1986.  His parting from the company was amicable and he remains friends with both the former Managing Director and the Company Secretary of Patrick Lynch Limited which was subsequently sold to the Jones Group plc. 

H. Shiels Limited came into being in September 1987 and has gone from strength to strength since then.  It has survived three recessions, including the most recent one which was by far the worst in Harry’s opinion.

Using all his skills and expertise, Harry has built up a wonderful and energetic team of Management, Office Staff, Technical Staff and Site Teams. 

The company currently employs 85 Site Staff which are made up of Foremen, Chargehands, Electricians and Apprentices and has a Fleet of 12 vans on the road.

In the interest of strengthening and ensuring the company would continue to grow, Harry appointed three Shareholding Directors in July, 2005 – the late Noel Madden as Contracts Director,   Gerry Geoghegan also as Contracts Director and John Sexton CPA as Financial Controller.

Two years ago Philip Whelan and Brian Foran, who both served their apprenticeships with the company, joined Harry, Gerry and John on the Board of Directors.

The following are some of H. Shiels most valued Clients:

• Dublin Airport Authority

• Office of Public Works


• Various Government Departments

• Central Bank

• A.I.B.

• B.O.I.

• Ulster Bank

• Circle K

• Delata Hotel Group

• Dublin Zoological Gardens

H. Shiels Limited is made up of the following Divisions and Departments and the following are responsible for same:-

Mr. Gerry Geoghegan Senior Contracts Director is mainly responsible for Dublin Airport together with his Team on Site and also for various Large Contracts

Mr. Brian Foran Contracts Director is responsible for the following ongoing Contracts:-  Circle K and any new Sites they develop, the Office of Public Works Helpdesk Panel, Measure Time Maintenance and various other medium sized Contracts

Mr. Philip Whelan Contracts Director is responsible for all the other Larger Contracts

Mr. Keith McGarry Contracts Manager is responsible for Maintenance and small Jobbing and has a team of Mobile Engineers

Mr. Alan Kelly B.Eng. Electrical Engineer is responsible for all Documentation and providing Technical backup, Suppliers Manuals etc. and is ably assisted by the Company’s CAD Engineer.   He is also the Safety In Construction co-ordinator and is assisted and audited by external Health & Safety Consultants Olive Safety

Mr. John Sexton CPA Financial Controller & Director is responsible for all matters involving Finance, Debtors & Creditors etc. assisted by Maria Kruljac

Mr. Shiels P.A. Mildred McDermott is with the Company 29 years and is Office Manager and supports all the above

Mr. Dermot O’Carroll Apprentice & Development Officer

At the core of H. Shiels’ success is its steadfast adherence to quality which is why customers small and large repeatedly select the company.   Indeed H. Shiels Limited is dedicated to fully understanding and fulfilling its clients’ requirements and exceeding their expectations, thereby enhancing its own position in the marketplace.

Whatever the job, the company’s sole objective is to safely and successfully complete the project to meet the client’s needs on time and within budget.

Harry concludes by stating the quality and services will continue to be the company’s focus in the future because at H. Shiels Limited they believe there is nothing more gratifying than a satisfied customer.

In summary H. Shiels’ success is based upon its dedicated and talented staff and the high level of personal service it provides and the tangible contribution it makes to all its client’s projects.

H. Shiels Limited,

18B Goldenbridge Industrial Estate,


Dublin 8.

Telephone: 01 4540441

Fax: 01 4530312

Emergency 24 Hour Call Out Number: 01 4920139

Email: [email protected]

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, January 2019, Vol 5 No 1