Building group had key role in building the emerging Irish nation

MCINERNEY Group has an eventful history that stretches back over 100 years.

Founded in 1909 in Co Clare by Thomas McInerney, it gradually evolved into a major house builder in Ireland and then spread its wings further to Britain and then Spain and Portugal.

It expanded steadily into neighbouring counties over the following decades evolving steadily with the emerging Irish state.

By the early 1940s it had established an office in Gort, Co Galway, and had become involved in an array of projects, including building housing, schools and a number of other contracts.

One of its first historic contracts goes back to 1949 when the company was incorporated as Thomas McInerney & Sons.

That year it was awarded the contract to build the new jet runway at Shannon Airport. By the early 1950s the company had a national profile.

By then it was involved in large local authority housing contracts as well as the building of construction of specialist science buildings for UCD.

It was clear from the early days that the founder believed the company had a role to play in helping to build the emerging Irish nation and for decades local authority housing and other public contracts provided the backbone of the business.

Then in the mid 1950s as the company’s reputation grew it targeted the British housing market and opened its first office in the greater London area.

Its target market was the south-east of England where it built local authority and private houses.

It listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange in what was at the time the largest ever public flotation.

Thanks to its strong profile the offering was 11 times over subscribed.

In 1975 it entered the buoyant Middle East and within five years was operating in five Gulf states.

It built office blocks, local government housing, palaces and banks and also secured the contract for the Irish embassy in Saudi Arabia.

At that time the McInerney family was still prominent in the business with Dan and Ambrose the two names most associated with the continuing success of the group at that point.

It was Ambrose, according to some sources, who identified the growth potential in the leisure market in the Iberian peninsula and developed a number of quality country club resorts in Portugal and Spain.

Given the nature of the property sector, the company’s fortunes ebbed and flowed.

However, it continued to build and expand even if it found it more difficult to sustain its earnings over the last several years.


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