Solid as steel after 70 years

10 Sep , 2021  

Based in Dundrum, Co Tipperary, O’Dwyer Steel is one of the leading suppliers of CE certified structural steel and cladding in Ireland and the UK. Building Ireland spoke with Managing Director Matt Ryan and Billy Heffernan (Agricultural Sales Manager) to learn all about the company – from its origins to the state of business today.

Established more than 70 years ago, O’Dwyer Steel has been involved in some of Ireland’s largest construction jobs, specialising in the fabrication and erection of structural steel and cladding for the agricultural, industrial, commercial and leisure sectors.

The company employs 60 staff from its base in Dundrum, Co Tipperary and up to another 30 on site, having established a first-class reputation through a balance of competitive prices, commitment to quality, safety, customer satisfaction and proven capabilities.

They consider themselves to be one of Ireland’s most experienced companies in the supply and erection of farm buildings.

Using only top-quality materials, O’Dwyer Steel provides a wide variety of buildings designed and built to suit customers’ requirements. 

We touched base recently with MD Matt Ryan and Billy Heffernan of the company’s Agri Sales department to learn more.

“The company itself is established over 70 years now and 2020 was a good year for us, the agri sector held its own,” explained Matt.

“For the year that was in it, the dairy sector seemed to drive things on and we were kept busy throughout it.

“I’d say we were working 80 per cent during lockdown because on the industrial side we were involved in a number of hospital projects, which deemed us an essential supplier.”

Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted businesses nationwide, with this past December seeing the Irish government moving the country into another Level 5 lockdown.

Thus far, O’Dwyer Steel has managed to weather the storm and, with a vaccine for the virus now being rolled out, there is light at the end of the tunnel for everyone.

Plenty of challenges have been met and conquered over the past seven decades by the company, which started out in the village of Dundrum way back in the 1950s.

Today, O’Dwyer Steel leads the way in the supply of CE certified structural steel and cladding from its purpose built 900m2 modern fabrication facility on its 4.5 Ha site in the Premier County.

“Over the past few years, we have seen very strong investment by dairy farmers in farm buildings due to expansion & a positive outlook on dairy prices at the moment,” outlined Billy Heffernan, who leads the Agricultural Sales department in Dundrum.

“TAMS has been a big driver of investment on drystock and dairy farms and its great to see the scheme extended for another year.

“We also complete a consistent volume of work in piggeries & the equine sector each year.”

O’Dwyer Steel has established a first-class reputation within the agri industry through a balance of competitive prices, commitment to quality, customer satisfaction and proven capabilities.

When it comes to farm building, the majority of the company’s work is carried out across Munster & Leinster: “We’ve a network of agents that cover this area.

“I just want to highlight too that everything is done in-house with us from design stage to manufacture. Our machinery includes a shotblaster, two CNC saw and drill lines, plate machine and angle machine. We have a radiant heating system in the paint shop here to improve quality of the paint finish & maximise our products lifetime.”

O’Dwyer Steel offers its clients a comprehensive service from initial design to fabrication & erection of structural steel, cladding and doors.

According to Billy, “The initial contact with the client will involve pricing the job. Our in-house engineer will then conduct a site survey & preliminary drawings will be confirmed by the client prior to building being detailed by us. We will then work with the client and possibly the builder involved in completing construction of the building within the timeframe agreed or we also supply sheds in kit form”.

So, what has been the secret to success down through the decades?

According to Matt, providing a consistent quality of work goes a long way in the business. 

“The name is long established and our clients know the quality of our work,” said the Managing Director.

“As well as that, Health & Safety is our priority here and we fit safety netting & edge protection to all our farm buildings prior to fitting of roof.

“By law, every building/shed should be netted but we are one of the few companies in the Agri sector committed to doing it.”

Aside from the fabrication and erection of a wide range of structural steel buildings, O’Dwyer Steel is also the sole Irish distributor of the secure windbreakers manufactured by Thomas & Fontaine Ltd.

These rapid fit windbreaks with ratchet tensioning systems can be used for permanent or temporary weather protection and ventilation.

Looking towards the coming months, Matt himself is optimistic after the pandemic situation and that the world will be in a better place by the summer.

After that, he is confident that the economy will return back to normal and that O’Dwyer Steel can continue to service its large customer base.

“Covid is going to pass us in the Spring, hopefully. We’re hoping that we can stay busy like we have been. 2021 is looking like a busy year and we’re well equipped to handle it here,” the MD concluded.

O’Dwyer Steel
Ireland Address:
O’Dwyer Steel,
Co Tipperary,
Rep. of Ireland

UK Address:
O’Dwyer Steel.
Endeavour House,
Coopers End Road,
CM24 1SJ.
Telephone: Ireland Office:
+353 062 71102
UK Office: +44 20 3432 5901
Email: [email protected]

Sales Representatives contacts:

Martin Kennedy – Cork/Kerry 087 2657661

Pat Fletcher – Waterford/East Cork 086 8255798

Kevin Mahony – Kilkenny/South Waterford 087 2207482

Martin Morris – North Tipperary/Offaly 086 2886839

John O’Donnell – South Tipperary 087 2911621

Sean Hogan – Clare 087 2495169

Vincent Meagher – Laois 086 2753614

Des Dunne – Kildare/Carlow/Wicklow/Meath 087 2647594

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, June, Vol 7 No 6