At the height of the recession, many involved in the construction industry were forced to either depart these shores in order to find work in the same sector or retrain and work in other industries.
However, there were a few that made the bold move of starting their own business and that is exactly what John Murphy and Hugh Carolan opted to do.
Combining their many years’ experience in the construction industry, they decided to establish Carolan Murphy Ltd in 2012 and as John explains to Building Ireland, they have never looked back since.
Remember, nine years ago, the country was still in the height of the recession of the roar of the Celtic Tiger was nothing more than a distant whimper.
So, the decision to establish a business in the building trade was brave to say the least, but confident that they could supply a top quality service made the two directors believe that they could made it a success.
“We had both finished work at the same time with our previous employer and we decided to form our own business. Luckily, between us, we had a few contacts in the industry and we were working on one-off houses and our services expanded to doing some commercial work. These days, we would do about 75% commercial work and 25% residential. The local Councils, the OPW and Lakeland Dairies would be some of our clients,” said John.
“We have been busy since we started and thankfully, we would have a lot of repeat custom at this stage.”
Based in Bailieborough, Co Cavan, the company’s catchment area sees them cover Cavan and surrounding counties, while they employ nine direct and use numerous tried and trusted sub-contractors.
“We are fortunate to have a good team around us here,” added John who is an architect by trade. “The lads are very experienced, while the sub-contractors used know the level of quality we expect from them and we know that they will meet our expectations.
“Your reputation is everything in this business and our best form of advertisement has been through word of mouth, so really it is a case of being as good as your last job. Our ability to diversify from commercial to residential has also been a big help as if one area is quiet, the other is usually busy, so that has played a part in keeping us going.”
Of course, like us all, John, Hugh and the team have had to deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic which has had the world in a vice-grip hold for the past 12 months, but John stated that they have been fortunate to be able to keep working this time around.
“We were off for a few weeks during the first lockdown, but since then, we have had a few essential jobs to keep us going. We are currently working in Lakeland Dairies and on education projects, while we have a few projects on hold at the moment.”
Amongst their portfolio are projects on the Bailieborough Courthouse, TGC Centre Recording Studio, Patrick Kavanagh Centre (Inniskeen, Co Monaghan), Office fitouts in Bailieborough Credit Union, Boylesports (Bailieborough & Carrickmacross), INTREO office (Navan), Killan farmhouse as well as civil works in Lakeland Dairies.
John revealed that they have a number of targets and goals that are set out before any project starts and it is their aim to reach all of these.
“Our general aims are client satisfaction, affordable solutions to bespoke specifications and continuous development of our own knowledge of the developments in modern construction methods.”
John is pleased with the direction of the business and he is looking forward to a return to normality or whatever the new norm will be.
“We have a good bit of work ahead of us now and once we are given the go-ahead, we will be very busy. Business is going well, and we are delighted to be where we are after nine years.”
However, John does feel that there could be repercussions from what has happened over the course of the last 12 months.
“I do think in the short term that we will be ok as there is plenty of work to be done at the moment, but I do have concerns for the future. It is hard to know what will happen, but we could be faced with a very uncertain future.
“We are focused on the present though and continuing to produce the highest standard of work that our clients are accustomed too.” John added: “We place a great deal of focus on client satisfaction. We work closely with the client throughout the project and keep them informed of every stage, while discussing costs and time. This keeps them informed and means that there are no big surprises waiting for them, they can also plan accordingly, which also helps run the project as smoothly as possible.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers over the past nine years and we look forward to working with many of them in the future, while I would also like to thank our hardworking staff who have been excellent and without them, we would not have had the success that we have had.”
Carolan Murphy Ltd.,
Mob: (087) 6291293 -John
(087) 9292525 -Hugh
e-mail: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, July, Vol 7 No 7