Based just outside of Ballina, Co Mayo, Judge Bros Ltd is a family-run building contracting business which has grown an excellent reputation for delivering high quality projects for its clients down through the years. Building Ireland touched base with Darren Judge to find out more about this thriving company out west.
Business is good these days at Judge Bros Ltd and the plan for the Judge clan over in Bonniconlon is to try and keep things that way right through to 2022.
In operation almost 40 years now, the company can be described as your typical family-run building contractor which has amassed an impressive amount of experience encompassing all sectors of the construction industry.
Judge Bros Ltd was set-up by brothers John, Noel, Des and Seamus Judge, with the second generation of the family now well immersed in the business.
Building Ireland caught up with Darren Judge to learn all about the company – from its origins to the current state of business today.
“We’re based in Bonniconlon, Ballina, Co Mayo and the company has been established since March 1982,” Darren outlined.
“We’ve 10 full-time staff and there are seven family members involved in total. The four directors are my father John and his brothers Des, Seamus and Noel, who is Declan’s father. Declan is a carpenter by trade and another uncle of ours Gerard, also works with us. I myself qualified as a Quantity Surveyor and after gaining experience working with some of the bigger main contractors I came back and took up a role with the family company.”
Over the decades, Judge Bros Ltd has grown a reputation for carrying out excellent work all over the Ballina region and further afield.
Its four directors all hailed from strong construction backgrounds and took the decision back in 1982 to go out on their own with their own joint business venture.
As Darren pointed out, it would’ve been a difficult time for any company to try and get off the ground in this country but the Judges persevered, producing quality projects and building up a strong customer base along the way, to remain standing more than 39 years later.
“It’s a typical building contracting company, specialising in one-off private houses,” he said.
“My father and his brothers had all worked on the tools before they set-up this business and they felt they could go out on their own with the experience they had.
“In the 1980s, it would’ve been rather difficult starting up a construction business in this country but they got through the tough times and, thankfully, they’re all still here today and still busy.”
Business is good nowadays even in spite of the challenges facing every business out there.
The Covid-19 pandemic, and the government restrictions and lockdowns which have followed to try and combat the spread of the virus, have affected companies nationwide and still continue to do so as the fight against the virus goes on.
Judge Bros Ltd was one of many construction businesses to see its projects shutdown overnight in the Spring of last year, but since the first re-opening on May 18, 2020 they’ve been busy with projects.
“It has been busy for us and I suppose we’re playing catch up from the first lockdown and from 2020 in general,” said Darren. “I think a lot of construction companies across the country would be in the same boat.
“There has been a lot of new work coming in for tendering and there seems to be a large volume of one-off houses in particular.
“We certainly can’t complain about the volume of work anyway and now that restrictions are lifted, we have nine houses which are all at varying stages to complete and another one just commenced.”
Essential works continued to keep Judge Bros Ltd busy during the post-Christmas lockdown but, as Darren explained, they were also keen to get back to a couple of private housing developments which had been shut down by restrictions.
It is, after all, very much the company’s bread and butter at this stage.
“Glen Ri Housing Estate is one of our own private residential housing estates that we were waiting to finish so we’re glad to be back on-site there,” he said.
“We were thankful that during the second lockdown we had a couple of jobs that were marked as essential and that could continue to progress, namely school extensions at Bonniconlon National School and The Quay National School in Ballina whilst also having some essential works in one of the local pharmaceutical companies.
“The Spires, Mossgrove Village, The Paddocks and The Fairways are some of the past residential projects we’ve developed and we’ve also worked for the HSE West forming a new state of the art audiology room in Ballina Primary Care Centre and re-roofing Ballina Hospital so our clients can vary greatly.”
So, what has been the secret to success for Judge Bros Ltd? How has a relatively small start-up grown by four brothers developed into a contracting business which continues to be highly rated by its clients almost four decades later?
According to Darren, giving each and every project the same attention to detail goes a long way when it comes to this line of work whilst also maintaining excellent lines of communication with the client.
“There has been a lot of repeat business with clients down through the years and we treat each project as if it’s the most important one. We also employ and use excellent sub-contractors who know what the standard is that we expect from them,” he said.
“There’s also the fact that we’re a hands-on family company too and fairly well-established in the area after almost 40 years.”
What more could any building contracting business ask for?
Looking towards the coming months, Darren says that Judge Bros Ltd will be keen for more of the same when it comes to producing excellent projects and gaining the work necessary to keep them as busy as ever in North Mayo.
“We just want to keep turning out quality work here. That and to make sure that we keep competitive in our tenders for projects whilst also maintaining that quality,” he concluded.
Judge Bros Ltd
Tel: 096 45234
Mobile: 086 3055 113
E-mail: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, August, Vol 7 No 8