53 years and counting

4 Jan , 2022  

With bases in Malin and Letterkenny, Co Donegal, the McGonagle Group is a long-established family venture which is renowned in the Tir Chonaill County (and beyond its borders) for the excellent service it provides customers. Building Ireland spoke with Kevin McGonagle recently to learn more about the business and some of its current projects.

These are busy times for the McGonagle Group Ltd in Co Donegal and the plan for the people behind the family-run business is to try and keep things that way right through to 2022.

With 26 employed full-time between its bases in Malin and Letterkenny, McGonagle Group Ltd was originally set-up by the late Eddie McGonagle Snr in 1968 and today breaks down into four separate companies under the one umbrella.

E McGonagle & Sons is the original plumbing, heating and mechanical services company, with Allied Plumbing & Heating being a heating and plumbing supplies company servicing the trade.

Donegal Tile Centre is based in Rossview Business Park, Port Road, Letterkenny and specialises in tile and bathroom retail to the trade and the general public as well as providing a wall and floor tile contracting division. Rossview Interiors is a furniture retail outlet also situated alongside Donegal Tile Centre and specialise in all manner of Sofa’s, Furniture, Mattress’s, Lighting and Fabric.

Building Ireland touched base with one of the group’s directors in Kevin McGonagle to find out more.

“Right now, we have 17 staff working with E McGonagle & Sons and 9 in Donegal Tile Centre,” he outlined.

“During the first lockdown last year, we would have just covered the essential works but this year it has been really busy for both sides of the business with most of the ongoing projects deemed ‘essential work’.

“With E McGonagle & Sons, we just finished a contract in Clinical Skills Department at Letterkenny University Hospital and we are currently working on a HSE Training Hub and Offices project along with an extension and refurbishment of both Scoil Cholmcille in Letterkenny and Glenswilly National School, commenced phase 2 of alterations and upgrades for E & I Engineering’s recently acquired manufacturing facility in Letterkenny and have also started work on extension & refurbishment works to Rockhill House.

“We’ve just completed a second social housing site in Letterkenny and have also been working on the final phase of refurbishment works at Dungloe Community Hospital.”

E McGonagle & Sons’ origins date back more than half a century and in that time they’ve become Donegal’s number one plumbing heating and mechanical contracting company

As for Donegal Tile Centre, the business was established by Kevin and his brothers Eddie Jnr, Hugh and Denis (all four are directors) in 1988.

The company moved into its current premises in 1999 and today it offers its customers a complete range of Ceramic, Porcelain, Mosaic and Marble wall & floor tiles along with an extensive selection of Sanitary ware, Whirlpool Baths, Free standing Baths, Wet room Solutions, Bathroom Accessories, Rayburn Cookers & Stoves.

Donegal Tile Centre imports all its tiles direct from the manufactures and takes pride in the quality of products offered and are committed to providing their customers with only the best products at the best possible price.

“It originally opened in 1988 and in 1999 we opened up the new premises in Rossview Business Park,” said Kevin.

“The recession obviously had a considerable impact on the business but we survived it and today thankfully it’s pretty busy again. I think keeping pace with current trends certainly helps.

“We have always put a lot of time and effort into keeping pace with current trends and regularly update displays in our tile, bathroom furniture showrooms.”

Eight years ago we opened Rossview Interiors, which is a sister company beside Donegal Tile Centre and they, by their nature, compliment each other.”

The Group itself now employs 26 full-time, including four from the third generation of the McGonagle clan.

E McGonagle & Sons has 17 staff and their projects range right across the North West of the country.

Down through the years, the team has acquired a wealth of experience in the execution of all manner of projects and in some instances, operating in live environments with minimal interference to the occupants – a trait which is essential to mechanical services providers in the 21st century.

When working in the healthcare, educational and retail sectors, which E McGonagle & Sons has a particular focus on, this can be crucial.

Since ‘Day One’, this family company has been committed to delivering every project in a thoughtful, professional and client-focussed manner.

It’s this approach that sees the McGonagle Group as a whole still thriving and successful after more than 50 years.

“I suppose it’s a combination of things really, not least the efforts our loyal and hardworking staff, the attention to detail we are so emphatic about and the fact that we go all out to realise our clients requests” said Kevin.

“We try hard to keep each project on budget and also to maintain good line of communication with the client. I think these are things that are vitally important.”

Looking towards the coming months and into next year, Kevin says the company will look to grow even though we’ve just come through unprecedented times brought on by the global pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the government lockdowns which followed in order to combat the spread of the virus, affected each and every business across the country and the McGonagle Group were no different than the rest.

However, as government restrictions ease and return to some sort of normality edges closer, the family-run concern is currently thriving.

The plan for the foreseeable future, according to Kevin, is to continue to expand the business and continue to meet customer demand along the way.

“We just hope that things continue to progress and the company as a whole keeps busy and keeps growing,” said the co-director. 

“There are currently no signs of things slowing down so hopefully the Irish economy and business generally will continue that way going forward.”

Great to hear. 

McGonagle Group
Co Donegal
Tel: 074 937 9154

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2021, Vol 7 No 11