Established in 1974, Francis Haughey Construction is a leading conservation and restoration company specialising in, but not limited to, cathedrals, churches, period buildings, castles and other buildings that require high levels of expertise and craftsmanship.
Malahide Castle is one of the highlights to any visit to Dublin. Located by the seaside village, the castle is steeped in history and played a central role in medieval Irish history.
Earlier this decade, the castle underwent a multi million euro redevelopment and renovation making it a jewel in the crown of Irish tourism.
Fingal County Council entrusted Armagh-based firm Francis Haughey Construction with the task of restoring the castle to its former glory and, as per usual, they didn’t disappoint.
Their input and expertise to the project was highly valued and, as well as working on the castle and the interpretive centre, they also completed extensive works in the secret garden and the Cambridge greenhouse.
The refurbishment of Malahide Castle was undertaken with strict working guidelines from Fingal Architects and attending archaeologists.
This refurbishment included new electricity supplies, new electrical installations to meet current regulations including fire regulations, new tiling, new lighting, new lift installations, new doors and ironmongery and all undertaken to ensure that the fabric of the building was left intact.
Working closely with architects Fionnuala May, Brian O’Connor and Francis Maguire from Fingal County Council the works meant constant communication as all works had to meet conservation and modern regulations.
With some walls being removed and ground being disturbed there was constant surveillance from archaeologists who would record finds in a meticulous way so as for any future works their recordings could be used.
For anyone visiting the castle now they will see a zinc-cladded lift and spiral stair case sheeted in zinc which fits comfortably into the building fabric but they will also see a more open and dynamic ground floor with its interactive displays and informative detailed history of the previous occupants of the castle.
A family run business with a dedicated and skilled workforce, Francis Haughey Construction have undertaken works on schools, new buildings, design & build, civil works, housing and listed buildings.
They have the expertise to carry out all works in all parts of Ireland and have built up an excellent reputation in carrying out all their works, for public and private bodies, in a friendly, co-operative and flexible manner, overcoming any potential obstacles along the way to ensure that the finished works is what meets the requirements of the client.
They specialise in lime plastering using traditional methods to repair and restore lath ceilings and walls to what they used to look like in years gone by.
Indeed, they have created their own interpretation for various projects where nothing existed previously but new ceilings and/or walls were created to seamlessly blend in with the fabric of the building.
“We’ve concentrated on conservation and refurbishment over the past 10 years,” explained Pat Haughey who has been a constant presence by his brother Francis’ side ever since the company was set up 41 years. “We, of course, do private work as well but there hasn’t been much of that since the crash.
“We’ve been kept very busy with the conservation work, we’ve also done numerous Churches including the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh. It’s a speciality that has kept us afloat and because of our highly skilled workforce, we tend to get a lot of repeat work from our clients. At all times, we work closely with the client and the design team. We sit down, work out any difficulties that may arise and make sure the work is completed to everyone’s satisfaction.”
Works at the aforementioned Church of Ireland Cathedral included external landscaping to the grounds: resurfacing of the existing tarmac driveways in asphalt with new levels, lifting relaying and new stone kerbing, new paving consisting of European granite slabs and tobermore paving, excavation and formation of the New Garden Of Rest, soft landscaping and new lighting installations.
A member of the CEF, CIF, NHBC and CWPS, Francis Haughey Construction has achieved the following accreditations: ISO9001, ISO14001 and Safe-T Cert. Very much a family-run business, they currently have 20 employees (plus sub-contractors) on their payroll, including Managing Director Francis’ son Padraig and daughter Geraldine.
“It goes without saying that a skilled workforce is essential in our line of work,” added Pat. “Our employees are highly skilled in all trades and conservatism and attended regular training to keep up-to-date with all the necessary skills.
“A lot of skilled people emigrated due to the downturn but, as a company, we re-organised so when the upturn comes we’ll be ready for it. We’re pricing more projects at the moment so we’d be optimistic about what the future holds in store. We’re a small company that held our own during the downturn and now we’re ready for the upturn.”
Taken from Building Ireland magazine, Spring 2016, Vol 2, No 1