Donlon Civil and Building Services was founded in 1980 by JJ Donlon. The cornerstone of the company has always been ‘Excellence in Construction’. Building Ireland recently caught up with JJ’s son Leo to find out what makes the progressive company tick.
Over the past ten years, the family run business Donlon Civil and Building Services has modernised, grown and been restructured to meet the challenges and the needs of the modern workplace.
Construction methods are changing rapidly, the firm recently completed a house with external insulation and no cavity. Air to water units are becoming very popular along with air tightness because of energy conservation and BER ratings and people are very aware of these issues now when building homes.
Through experience, they have found that their combination of traditional hard work and attention to detail meets the needs of the ever-changing construction sector.
They have built up a reputation for quality and have a proven track record in delivering projects on-time, within budget and in a safe manner.
The family-run business and their 15 employees believe in quality and value for money, these are the cornerstones of developing lasting relationships with their clients.
Managing Directors JJ Donlon and Keith Donlon, Leo Donlon, Construction Manager, and Carmel Financial Controller/Admin along with Fabian Downes Senior Engineer, who has a wealth of experience and knowledge under his belt, as well as a great team of loyal and committed tradesmen are still building on the strong foundations laid by JJ 38 years ago.
The company’s list of valued clients that trust their work includes the likes of Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim and Roscommon County Councils, MSLETBs, HSE North West, John Sisk and Sons, Lagan Contracts and Musgraves, along with plenty of private clients to name but a few.
“20 years ago a traditional builder just built but in 2018 they offer all aspects of ground works/percolation areas, drainage, demolition and landscaping as well as new builds and renovations and maintenance works,” explains Leo.
“Equipment also is paramount and we recently purchased a one tonne mini digger which is ideal for getting in around houses during renovations and speeds up work. It would fit right in your front door. We have diggers right up to 20 tonne for hire, so if anybody is considering doing anything construction wise they shouldn’t look past us. Some past projects are on our website www.donlon.ie
“You have to get in and get out quickly,” Leo pointed out to Building Ireland when asked: what is key to surviving in this ultra-competitive industry and satisfying the needs of the client. “You always have to bear in mind that as long as you are on site, you are affecting the client’s turnover when doing commercial work”.
“In this day and age, offering value for money is a key consideration. You open doors by giving clients value for money and leaving good work behind you that you can stand over. It’s all about keeping the quality of workmanship up and the price down. That helps widen the net when it comes to attracting new clients.”
You don’t have to take Leo’s word for it. Here is what Jim Sheridan of JS Architectural Services had to say about his company’s dealings with Donlon Civil and Building Services: “I have acted as lead consultants engaging Donlon Civil and Building Services as main contractor on a number of projects ranging in size and complexity.
“All projects came in within time and budget. I found them professional, courteous and cooperative in all their dealings, including any matters that may have arisen on site and all variations were agreed in a fair and professional manner.
“I would have no problem in using them in any future project or in recommending them to others.”
Ronan Hunt of Lagan Asphalt echoed those sentiments: “Lagan Asphalt Ltd have engaged the services of Donlon Civil and Building Services on a range of civil engineering projects throughout the west and northwest area over the past 8 years and continue to do so.
“We have found them to be a competent, professional and trustworthy company delivering a high quality end product consistently within allotted timeframes and budgets.”
Donlon’s are committed to a zero accident approach to safety, health and welfare and are therefore committed to continuous improvement in performance by taking pro-active action to manage and conduct their activities to address safety, health and welfare issues.
“As well as striving to complete all projects within the time frame and budget, we also take pride in our Health & Safety record,” Leo added. “That’s a big factor for us in how we run our company and a must when you are, for example, carrying out working on behalf of Local Authorities.
“You can see the Health & Safety goal that they trying to achieve and there are obviously benefits for everyone to strictly adhere to that.”
With Dublin and the surrounding environs experiencing an upward trend in construction activity, the difficulties encountered by those in the north-west region of the country has been well documented. Leo is, however, optimistic about the company’s future prospects.
“The north west, counties like Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim and Mayo are well down the ladder but it is slowly beginning to pick up.
“Thankfully, we’ve seen a good start to the year. We have a few Council projects on the go at the moment and recently finished a job for the HSE and a Centra fit-out on behalf of Musgraves.”
Leo continued: “We have two green field sites we are trying to get off the ground at the minute. We’re waiting on the Local Authority to give the go-ahead to both of these. We also hope to work on newly announced roads in Sligo – the Manorhamilton Road and the Sligo to Carrick-on-Shannon dual carriage way,
“Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) announced last week it’s giving €17.6 million to Sligo County Council for its 2018 Roads Programme – the largest ever annual allocation to be given to them. They are big projects that will help to keep regional guys like us going.”
Donlon Civil and Building Services Ltd
1 Old Cartron, Sligo
Phone: 071 91 45784
Mobile: 087 613 7658/087 8668543
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, March 2018, Vol 4 No 3