Shock at closure of construction firm

A RECEIVER is set to be appointed this week to the Ennis-based building firm, Brian McCarthy Contractors Ltd. The company, which employed 220 people at the height of the construction boom, announced last week that it was to cease trading.

Staff at the company’s Cork site were informed of the decision at lunchtime last Monday.

Management met with staff at a meeting at the South Court Hotel in Limerick on Tuesday. 20 jobs are to be lost as a result of the decision.

The company had been in business for 36 years, carrying out work for the HSE, the Office of Public Works (OPW), the Department of Education, Aldi and Roche.

A spokesman for the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said the sector was “shocked” at the closure.

He said, “Everyone in the industry is shocked and saddened at the news that a well regarded company like Brian McCarthy’s has become the latest casualty of this unprecedented crash in the construction industry.”

“It’s indicative of the trading conditions in the industry, which are bordering on the intolerable and the severe competition that exists in the industry at the moment. This is the sixth year of the downturn that has seen massive reductions in output and employment. 180,000 people have left the industry in the current crash.”

The spokesman added, “Brian McCarthy’s have said that they found part of the problem to be the awarding of public projects to below cost tenders. It’s leading to severe over-competition and many believe that the prices at which contracts are being awarded are simply un-sustainable.”

The company carried out a number of high profile projects at the University of Limerick including the construction of the Irish Chamber Orchestra building, the President’s House and a number of student accommodation blocks.

Closer to home, Brian McCarthy’s completed works on the Holy Family Primary School in Ennis and a number of projects at the Roche Pharmaceutical Plant in Clarecastle.

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