Established in 1992, O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers provides technical backup to its clients in the construction industry. Building Ireland spoke with company Managing Director Dave Butler to learn all about the ins and outs of the business, its current projects and plans for further growth going forward.
This year sees O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers marking and even three decades since its inception and the plan for the Cork-based consultancy firm is to continue exploiting the most up to date technologies for the benefit of its clients.
Operating out of Little Island, Co Cork, the company has grown an excellent reputation over the past 30 years as experts when it comes to providing technical backup to the construction industry.
Today, O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers employs 21 full-time staff from its base in Little Island and recently saw Dave Butler becoming its new Managing Director.
Building Ireland recently touched base with Dave to hear more about the details of the service that the company provides, as well as the overall state of business at the moment.
“We’re civil & structural consulting engineers that specialise in medium to large residential developments,” he outlined.
“Over the last 30 years, we’ve worked for clients such as O’Callaghan Properties,
Murnane & O’Shea Ltd (MOS Group), O’Leary & O’Sullivan Developments and Homeland Projects to name a few.
“We provide a wide range of services taking jobs from concept to construction, so our main role would be to act as civil engineers and assign certifiers on our projects in conjunction with an architect.
“We provide the services, working drawings for the houses and apartments and provide full on-site supervision during the construction itself.”
O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers was set-up by Donal Leader and Sean O’Shea back in 1992, with the former still involved in the company to this day on a consultancy basis as he heads towards retirement.
As for Dave Butler, he joined the business in 1996 straight out of college and became its new Managing Director this past March – more than a quarter of a century since first setting foot in the door.
The Co Cork native now heads up a company with a wide range of services that sees its expertise spread out through architectural consultancy, mechanical and electrical engineering, land surveying, fire consultancy and environmental consultancy.
To date, O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers has successfully carried, from initial concepts to final construction, a vast number of projects in all sectors of the industry, including industrial and chemical facilities, residential developments, commercial projects, retail projects, educational facilities, health facilities and hotels.
Right now, business is flourishing for the company as its new MD outlined:
“It’s very busy. We’re doing a lot of developments in Munster around Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry and then up to Dublin as well,” said Dave.
“We’re doing some work for the Department of Education and SEAI. We’ve been involved since 2019 in an energy pilot scheme with them.
“Throughout Munster we’re busy but our main business would be in Cork and we’re doing a couple of big apartment developments up in Dublin as well.
“So, that’s where we are at the moment and we’re extremely busy, to be honest.” Of course, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing in recent times.
The Covid-19 pandemic, and government lockdowns enforced in order to combat the spread of the virus, impacted businesses all over Ireland.
While the team at O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers certainly felt that impact, they were able to work through it and through its ‘essential’ projects the company managed to keep itself busy throughout.
“Like everybody else, it was very challenging and we had 20 staff all working from home at the time,” said Dave.
“It took an awful lot of coordination and hard work to keep everybody tuned in while we worked through Covid.
“So, we had people working remotely but, obviously, with the nature of our developments some were deemed essential and we were back working soon because a lot of our sites were social housing and we worked right through really.”
At this point in time, the projects are flowing at O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers.
The company is occupied with work in Cork and Dublin in particular, with other projects on-going in Limerick and Kerry as well.
“We’re doing two large apartment developments at the minute,” said Dave. “One in Deansgrange in Dublin, which is a five-storey building over a basement carpark.
“The excavations of the basement work on that is currently on-going and we’re doing another development of 60 apartments in Stillorgan Road in Dublin. That’s now started on site and it’s a mixed-use development of apartments and housing and Homeland are the clients on both of those.”
He continued: “We’re on a large residential development in Mungret Gate in Limerick for Homeland, which is up to about 400 houses, and we’re also doing developments in Tower, Blarney and Carrigaline in Cork as well at the minute.
“We’re doing a development of about 160 units in Carrigtwohill for Murnane & O’Shea as well.”
So, all of that considered, the burning question is what has been the secret to the success of the company over the past 30 years?
How has a small start-up grown into a thriving civil & structural engineering consultancy practice that today holds a glowing reputation amongst its clients for the work it delivers?
“We like to feel that we give them a good service and we have a good relationship with our clients,” Dave responded.
“We’re involved in most developments from concept to completion and we have a good working relationship with our clients.
“They like that we’re involved from start to finish and it builds knowledge and understanding with our clients that we understand what they want and we understand what we want.”
Looking towards the months ahead for the business, the new Managing Director says further growth will continue to be at the top of the agenda going forward.
Above all else though, it’ll be about continuing to keep the clients fully satisfied at O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers.
“We’d like to continue to grow our company and continue to provide excellent personal service to our clients,” Dave stated.
“It’s been challenging the last three years with Covid and Brexit and all that goes with it. It’s been challenging for not only us but our clients and, hopefully, in the not too distant future things will settle down and we’ll get back to a bit of normality again.”
O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers
38 East Gate Drive,
Little Island, Co Cork
Tel: 021 429 7672
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, October 2022, Vol 8 No 10