B&M O’Brien Brothers – groundworks and civil engineering experts

8 Nov , 2023  

Based in West Cork, B&M O’Brien Brothers Ltd is an exceptional family-run business specialising in all aspects of groundworks, civil engineering projects, agricultural buildings and concrete works.

While the Barryroe, Co. Cork-based company was only formed in 2014, the O’Brien family have many years’ experience in groundworks, civil engineering and agricultural building works. It is fronted by brothers Bernard and Mike O’Brien who followed their father, Mike Snr, into the business. Mike Snr and his wife Eileen have been a tremendous support to their sons, as have their wives, Carolanne and Niamh.

The O’Briens have been at groundworks since 1999 when they bought their first track machine and started working for local builder firm Fleming Construction. They progressed from there to buy their first brand new track machine in 2006, and another one soon after. When the economic crash hit, they purchased shuttering pans which allowed them to branch into farm buildings. They expanded into civil engineering after that and have been involved in many housing and water infrastructure projects in the Cork region since.

“Our work is divided 70/30 between civil engineering and farm buildings,” Mike explains.

“On the construction side of things, our main services are foul and storm damage and HDPE water mains along with all aspects of ground and concrete works. With farm buildings, we specialise in steel erection and fabrication, slatted tanks and concrete works. The two facets of the business complement each other.

“Bernard and I insist on having a presence on every site. We employ a 25-strong team who are supported by a small number of tried and trusted subcontractors. We try to keep things in-house as much as possible. We use 3D modelling which gives us a good overview of projects before we start them.”

B&M O’Brien Brothers Ltd runs a wide array of machinery and plant, including several excavators from two to 30 tonnes, dumpers from six to 25 tonnes, a range of loadalls and two trucks (a Scania artic and a Volvo rigid) with low loaders for moving plant quickly and efficiently. The O’Brien brothers’ highly-skilled staff help them to meet and exceed the high standards they have set for themselves. It is these resources that has allowed them to grow steadily with confidence, and also gives their customers confidence in their ability to deliver what they are looking for.

The groundworks and civil engineering specialist recently took delivery of a new Kobelco SK230SRLC-7 with a steelwrist tiltrotator from McSharry Bros in Roscommon. “Our father bought our first Kobelco in 1999 and we’ve had them ever since. One of the oldest Kobelcos we have has 20,000 hours on the clock and is still going strong. That’s testament to how good they are,” Mike says.

The brothers also recently invested in a second Hydrema dump truck from Philip P McCormack Plant in Clane, Co. Kildare, a Leica 3D system from Levelling Equipment Services in Celbridge, Co. Kildare and a Magni 26m 360-degree loadall from Overseas Plant Exports. Their other rubber ducks and diggers are a mix of Liebherr, Takeuchi, Terex and Hitachi.

All machines are maintained and serviced by an inhouse fitter on a regular basis to ensure there is no such thing as downtime. The O’Briens are always striving for improvement and invest in the latest machinery and technology to ensure the best possible service.

The company covers an area of up to 50km radius from its base and has built a solid reputation within this area for exceptional workmanship, value-for-money and an ability to complete all projects on time and within budget. Thanks to their hands-on approach in the day-to-day running of the business, Mike and Bernard have forged excellent working relationships with both their customers and employees alike.

This has resulted in continuous repeat custom which speaks volumes for the quality and value they offer. The brothers are always striving for improvement and regularly invest in the latest machinery and technology to ensure the best possible service.

B&M O’Brien Brothers Ltd’s main client is OBR Construction Group in Ballincollig, Co. Cork. As well as being a leading reinforced concrete contractor, OBR is a mid-sized developer who the O’Briens are currently collaborating with on residential developments in the Jacob’s Island, Model Farm Road and Dublin Pike areas of Cork City.

“Most of our work is done through OBR Construction who have been very good to us. We’re doing all the groundworks, including site clearance, bringing the floors up to ground level and finishing works on those three projects.

“We have worked hard to build an outstanding reputation for quality and cost-effectiveness across Cork and beyond.”

Furthermore, the family-run business is a one-stop shop for all farm building requirements, catering for everything from groundworks, concrete works and design to fabrication and erection of structural steel.

“We provide the full package when it comes to agricultural buildings,” Bernard notes.

“Most of our customers would look for us to do the complete build for them as it cuts out the hassle and saves them money. But if they prefer to do elements of the build themselves, that’s not a problem. After the farmer first makes contact with us, we go out to meet them and advise them on the building that best suits their needs. The next stage is to design the shed and get our quantity surveyor to do up the costs. We can build the shed from the ground up. We’re hands-on from the start and work with the customer every step of the way.”

As B&M O’Brien Bros Ltd prepares to celebrate 10 years in business, the O’Brien brothers would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers and suppliers for their continued support, and their staff for their expertise, hard work and dedication.

“We’re extremely grateful to all our staff who represent us every day and who keep things going, be it on site or in the office,” Mike concludes.

B&M O’Brien Brothers Ltd




Co. Cork.

Telephone: 086 8682315 (Bernard) / 086 1685952 (Mike)

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.bmobrien.ie

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2023, Vol 9 No 11