Delivering a quality product at a competitive cost

23 Aug , 2023  

Established since 2000, Crossdoney Construction Ltd is a general contracting company which offers its clients the complete package when it comes to construction of their projects. Building Ireland spoke with Managing Director Gary Allison to hear more about the ins and outs of the company, the state of business at the moment and its recent nomination at the annual Irish Construction Excellence Awards.

These are busy times at Crossdoney Construction Ltd and the plan for Gary Allison and his team based in The Rocks, Crossdoney, Co Cavan is to try and keep things that way right through to next year.

Set-up as a limited venture two weeks into the new millennium, the company has grown from strength to strength since that time and today has 20 full-time staff on its payroll.

In setting up Crossdoney Construction Ltd, Gary Allison followed in the footsteps of his parents Robert and Doris whom had their own construction venture for more than two decades.

Building Ireland learned more about the origins of the company when it touched base with Gary recently.

“I established Crossdoney Construction but my parents would’ve run Robert Allison Construction from 1978 and Crossdoney just took over from that. We went limited (in 2000), but we’d be over 45 years in construction now,” outlined the Managing Director.

“I studied architecture and I have a diploma in architecture technology and then I did a construction management degree in Waterford and went on then to work for G&T Crampton, which would’ve been a big contractor back in the day.

“I spent a year with them and went to FEPS Project Management, a project management company in Dublin that were working for Dell and I was in Intel for them as well, Galway University and different sites.

“My father’s health was bad and that’s why I came home to the family business.”

Today, Robert and Doris Allison remain directors at Crossdoney Construction Ltd, while their son runs the operation.

The company offers services in anything from civil projects to fit-out to residential, commercial and industrial, with its key client being the Musgrave Group – Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company – and it’s a strong relationship that has been in place since 2004.

Work with that particular client has saw Crossdoney Construction completing Centra and SuperValu projects nationwide, with the latest being a €7.5m SuperValu in Newcastle, Co Dublin which included a chemist and a public building when it was handed over this past Spring.

Business has been strong for the company and the only significant negative, like with so many construction firms, has been the rise in material costs for those in industry.

“Yeah, business is good at the minute. If labour wasn’t as scarce and materials weren’t so expense, it would be great,” said Gary.

“The first year (during the Covid-19 pandemic) wouldn’t have been too bad and in 2020 and 2021 our turnover wasn’t really affected. Turnover dropped significantly last year. Inflation probably caused that and a few jobs shelved and things but we still done our targets, although we didn’t get over them.

“All you can really read into it was material costs and maybe rates, taking a bit of pain on some projects that you had priced and then inflation costs and labour going up.”

In April, Crossdoney Construction Ltd was a finalist at the 2023 Irish Construction Awards.

The company was nominated in the Commercial or Industrial project up to €10m category for its work at the Soltec Waste Treatment and Recovery Facility in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

While Crossdoney Construction did not come away with the award on the night at Dublin’s Convention Centre, Gary outlined that they “were very happy to be nominated” for a project that marked a new direction for the firm.

“It’s a recycling plant for waste chemicals and waste liquids and they’re established over 40 years,” he said on the Soltec project.

“We started construction in 2020, so we went to a green field site at that point and we built Phase One for them and then we were back doing Phase 2 which was a tank farm.

“We completed in March 2021, during Covid.”

The past decade or so has also saw Crossdoney Construction working on over 100 school projects nationwide and the Cavan firm is currently immersed in two more at the moment.

So, all of that considered, the burning question is what has been the secret behind this company’s success to date?

How has a small construction start-up grown into a thriving business with 20 full-time on its books and an excellent reputation amongst its clients along with it?

For Gary, it comes down to a combination of different factors.

“Delivering at a competitive cost and a quality product. We give a service that when they need it, we’re there for them,” said the Managing Director.

“We get phone calls to go and sort problems out today or this evening, but maybe not every contractor would have the capacity to deal with that. I think that’d be our leading selling point.”

As for the months ahead for the business, Gary hopes to see it continuing on with the busy trend its currently in and also perhaps get back into the government projects which were focused on in the years that followed the ’08 downturn.

As well as that, Crossdoney Construction will be eager to keep working alongside Musgrave Group for the foreseeable, with the latter having some massive plans in the pipeline for the next couple of years.

“We want to continue doing what we’re doing and maybe go back into social housing a bit,” said Gary.

“Looking at it, maybe there is a demand for contractors in the market now at the minute. So, maybe we could look at doing more government work because we had gone away from it a bit in the last few years.

“Continue with Musgrave Group as well. They have an aggressive plan for the next two or three years in that they’ve announced they’re going to spend €200m on refurbing jobs and updating, making the jobs more efficient from an electrical point of view but also doing building work to help achieve that.

“I can see us doing a lot for them over the next year or two, please God.”

Crossdoney Construction Ltd
The Rocks,
Co Cavan
Mobile: 087 989 90752

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, August 2023, Vol 9 No 8