James Irwin Construction Ltd.’s status as one of Ireland premier formwork specialists is underlined by the company’s longstanding relationship with John Sisk & Son, including major current projects at Center Parcs in Longford and The Curragh Racecourse. Building Ireland touched base with Quantity Surveyor John Hester to find out more.
Since its inception in 2006, James Irwin Construction Ltd. has established itself as a leading formwork specialist, prominent on a wide range of projects across the midlands, Connacht and the Greater Dublin region. Formwork contracting is complemented by keen general civil and building works.
Synonymous with delivering exceptional concrete and formwork solutions to the highest standard – on time and within budget, always to the exact requirements of client and main contractor– James Irwin Construction is highly-regarded industry wide for its exemplary performance in the critical areas of Quality, Teamwork, Compliance and Health & Safety, consistently delivering unrivalled workmanship.
The Lanesboro-based company has a proven track record across a variety of sectors – including Pharmaceutical, Commercial, Residential, Educational and Sports & Tourism –while the founder / managing director’s strong working relationship with renowned main contractor John Sisk & Son goes back over two decades to when he first started working on the former Elan buildings in Athlone, County Roscommon.
Over the years, James Irwin Construction has operated extensively within the pharma sphere, bringing its formwork and concrete contracting excellence to many major developments nationwide including a number of recently-completed projects for Sisk – an expansion at Allergan’s Bio 2 manufacturing facility in Westport, County Mayo; Abbott Diagnostics in Longford; Medtronic in Galway; BD Medical in Dun Laoghaire; Jazz Pharmaceuticals in Athlone; and Abbvie in Sligo.
John Sisk & Son also subcontracted James Irwin Construction to carry out all formwork and major structural concrete works at the €233m Center Parcs Forest Resort in County Longford as well as the major new grandstand at The Curragh Racecourse, which is due to be opened in time for the 2019 horseracing season.
Other notable current projects include the 220/110 kV Castlebagot Substation at Grange Castle in West Dublin, an extension at Penelto Foods in Longford & overhauls at Lough Ree & West Offaly Power Plants.
Working extensively with a contractor of the status of Sisk on a consistent basis is a massive endorsement of James Irwin Construction’s capabilities. “We have a proven track record with Sisk, we’ve been in business with them for many years and we work well together,” notes QS John Hester. “Health & Safety is of course the No.1 consideration, although we also place a big emphasis on quality.
“About 60% of our work is with Sisk but we also work for a number of other prominent main contractors throughout the country. Kilcawley Construction, Roadbridge, Rockwell Engineering, EPS & Carty Contractors to name a few. We also work directly for the ESB, Abbott Diagnostics in Longford and for Lagan Cement in Kinnegad. We’ve completed substantial works at Lough Ree & West Offaly Power Stations and at GE Energy Power Plant in Tynagh, County Galway, for example.
“We also take on some civil works. For example, we built a 60 metre, three-span vehicular access bridge across the River Suck in Castlecoote, County Roscommon for Mr Kevin Finnerty of Castlecoote House.
The fact that James Irwin Construction own and operate all their own plant and machinery provides them with a keen competitive edge.“We’re probably at our peak at the moment with Center Parcs and the Curragh Racecourse projects ongoing, but a number of our core staff and management team have been with us since day one,” says John.
John believes that the strong team of personnel has been key to the growth and enduring popularity of the company: “The people are a major asset and they make an enormous contribution. We have a small but highly-skilled team in the office, where Karen Cunningham is the accounts manager and Jeaff MccGann is our Health & Safety manager.
“James and his wife, Dara, are the directors, while we have a number of experienced foremen working on every job, making sure everything runs smoothly. We have a number of foremen spread across various jobs with the majority of them have been here since the company was formed.”
Twenty-eighteen has been James Irwin Construction’s busiest years to date and the signs are encouraging that they’ll be able to secure ample of work going forward: “The Curragh and Center Parcs should keep us busy into September and we also have a lot of other work in the pipeline, mostly in the East of the country, in and around Dublin,” John confirms.
“Even though we have a bit of work coming up in Galway, the midlands and the west are still relatively quiet compared to Dublin. The bulk of our work is going to be in and around the capital for the foreseeable future, which presents its own challenges as commuting into the city centre is very time consuming once you go inside the M50.”
The objectives of the company going forward? “To maintain our exemplary Health & Safety record is always No.1. That’s certainly going to be our priority,” John concludes. “Our commitment to quality is also paramount. We’ll continue to upskill our highly-skilled labour force and ensure that they are kept up to date with changes and advancements in the industry.”
James Irwin Construction Ltd.,
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September 2018, Vol 4 No 8