Features

Experts in formwork and reinforced concrete works

13 Sep , 2018  

Drummany Construction Ltd. is one of Ireland’s foremost formwork and reinforced concrete specialists. We travelled to County Tipperary and caught up with directors Sean and Seamus Maguire, the latter of whom has accumulated more than four decades of experience delivering a wide range of concrete construction projects throughout Ireland and the UK.

When it comes to reinforced concrete works and formwork, Drummany Construction Ltd. is a market-leading operation, built on cornerstones of integrity, expertise, experience and service. Fronted by the father-and-son team of Seamus and Sean Maguire, the company channels decades of practical experience working on largescale concrete projects at home and abroad into delivering flexible, bespoke, client-focused solutions that are simply second to none.

Originally from County Cavan, hands-on director Seamus learned all about the concrete industry whilst working cross-channel. “He went to the UK in the 1970s, like a lot of Irish people at the time, and ended up working in construction,” his son and co-director Sean reflects. “He worked throughout the Greater London area and gained a vast knowledge and experience of reinforced concrete and formwork.”

A foreman / supervisor from an early age, Seamus oversaw the construction of all kinds of buildings, from high-rise office blocks, roadways, airports, commercial and industrial premises to smaller developments. He served one of the biggest formwork companies in London, Getjar Ltd., the reinforced concrete frame and groundfloor specialists (also of Irish origins).

While based in England for almost 30 years, Seamus worked on all types of concrete frames as well as immersing himself in structural concrete works. He supervised work for a host of different concrete subcontractors and became an authority on all things concrete-related. In 1998, Seamus, his wife and three sons moved to Ireland.

The Drummany native worked predominantly for concrete subcontractors when he came back, initially supervising all concrete works in Lisheen Mines, Thurles, before overseeing many concrete structures of the Limerick Bypass. He supervised work at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre and was team leader for concrete works on The George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow, which won the overall Concrete Society Award in 2009.

Another project, in conjunction with BAM, was the engineering building at NUIG, where Seamus supervised all concrete works in the finished building.

Drummany Construction Ltd. was established in March, 2011. One of their first projects was all the finished concrete works for the new PESS (PE and Sports Science) building centre at the University Limerick (Sisk). “We also took on the new council offices in Tipperary town, for main contractor Stewart Construction, as the civil service was being redeployed out of Dublin.

“After that, we diversified into wind turbines and we’ve been specialising in windfarms for six or seven years now and that’s going extremely well,” says Seamus.

The first wind farm was completed in Tipperary and this type of work currently accounts for around 95% of overall business. “We construct foundations for the wind turbines,” Sean explains. “The hole is excavated for us and we then do everything from the ducting, blinding layer of concrete, steel reinforcement, earthing, formwork, pouring of concrete and grouting. All elements to the foundation.

“We acted as subcontractor on what are currently the two biggest wind farms in Ireland when they were built – Meenadreen Wind Farm in Donegal, which has 38 turbines (completed in 19 weeks), main contractor Denis Moriarty, and Knockacummer Wind Farm in Rockchapel, Cork, where we constructed the foundations for 35 turbines for main contractor Denis Moriarty.”

There’s steady, albeit volatile, demand for wind farms at present and Drummany Construction travel island-wide to deliver these projects professionally and efficiently. “Due to Ireland having to meet its 2020 emissions targets, there has been a large volume of work in wind farms and sustainable energy,” Sean Maguire notes. “The thing with wind farms is you could be tipping along with a steady team and then you can become extremely busy all of a sudden. We have an excellent diverse team with us that can deal with any size of project, but due to planning etc, it’s unpredictable and also very competitive.”

But few, if any, can match the quality of workmanship offered by Drummany Construction. “We take great pride in our work and we are constantly striving to keep our standards at the highest possible level in order to secure more repeat custom and also to win other contracts with different clients. At the end of the day, regardless of your track record and experience, you are only as good as your last job and the price you submit.

“If there’s a lull in wind farms, we have the capacity to take on reinforced concrete works for schools and/or other buildings – , basically all reinforced concrete elements to a particular project, i.e., columns, beams, floor slabs and general concrete frames,” Sean continues.

Versatility is one of the many key strengths of the family-operated business: “We can do anything from small concrete works to largescale wind farms. Seamus has a wealth of experience in the construction of office blocks and many other largescale projects in the UK and Ireland,” Sean continues. “To an extent, the work is always the same but designs are different and you work with contractors to give them exactly what they need. It’s always refreshing to take on something different and every day is a school day.”

Direct employment is generated for a crew of 17 and additional work is subcontracted out if there is a particularly heavy workload at any given time. Drummany Construction run their own teleporters and plant for concrete placement and finishing, while all their cranes are hired. “In hindsight, we probably could have purchased a crane or two if we had known how much work we’d be doing, but at the same time it’s nice to give some business to somebody else, too. For the time being, we prefer to hold onto the teleporters and hire the cranes. Labour is our biggest outlay.”

Looking to the future, Sean says expansion is an objective: “Our plan is to hopefully expand and we are open to any work not just concrete work,” he confirms. “We know the wind farms won’t go on forever but we’ll expand into anything, whatever presents itself. Everything depends on the scale of work that you’re doing at any given time and what resources are required. But there are four family members working here full-time at the moment – myself, my Dad Seamus, brother Philip and my fiancée Donna in the office – and we’re all making a living out of it, so that’s all you can ask for.”

Over the last seven years or so, Drummany Construction Ltd. has delivered concrete works on just shy of 40 wind farms, comprising more than 250 turbines. “Last year was relatively quiet and we’ve had a quiet enough start to 2018, largely due to the weather,” Seamus concludes. “We’ve priced quite a few wind turbines for this year and the busy months for that work tends to be August – November.

“But it’s renewable energy and it’s hard to know how long that will go on for. Tariffs are good at the moment but they aren’t guaranteed beyond 2030, so that might make the banks more reluctant to lend out the money. We’ll see what happens with the wind farms but, with our knowledge of concrete, I’m confident we’ll get work in other areas if there’s a slowdown.”

Drummany Construction Ltd.,

Castlehill,

Drombane,

Thurles,

County Tipperary.

Tel: 087 2468479 / 087 7923445

Email: [email protected]

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, June 2018, Vol 4 No 5

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