James Malone Construction – building on a family tradition

21 Jun , 2024  

James Malone Construction Ltd is a long-established building contracting firm just outside Ennis in Co. Clare which continues to go from strength to strength.

Established in 1971 and operating within both the private and public sectors, James Malone Construction has earned an enviable reputation for delivering high-quality projects across the Clare / Limerick region, including one-off residential builds, extensions, renovations and retrofits as well as commercial, industrial and civil engineering work. The company is fronted by Ronan Malone, who employs nine people directly and many more on a subcontract basis.

Ronan is a third-generation builder who studied Construction Management at LIT. “I’m following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather,” he explains.

“My father James, who is now retired, set up this business over 50 years ago after serving his time as a carpenter with his father-in-law and my grandfather on my mother Phyllis’ side, James McMahon in West Clare. He was the local builder, carpenter and undertaker. So there is a long tradition of building in the family.”

Superior workmanship, attention to detail, value-for-money and a commitment to working closely with clients to deliver total satisfaction are the hallmarks of James Malone Construction. Health & Safety is at the core of the business, and never more so than since the Covid-19 pandemic. From concept to completion, Ronan and his team are with you every step of the way, ensuring that your new project is designed and built to your specific needs, and that there are no hidden or extra costs involved.

Whether your next project is a new build, refurbishment or extension, James Malone Construction’s one-stop shop approach will ensure that both the design and building processes are smooth, comfortable and hassle-free. The Co. Clare contractor’s reputation for quality construction and ability to complete projects on time and within the agreed budget is borne out by the high volume of repeat business and referrals it receives from architects, engineers and satisfied clients.

By employing highly-skilled people, collaborating with clients’ design teams and project managers, and using only the very best building products, this fully-insured contractor is able to deliver construction projects of the highest standards.

Ronan’s small but dedicated team are supported and supplemented by the same tried and tested subcontractors, including plasterer Michael Shannon, block-layers Ronan O’Looney and Joe McInerney, electrical contractors Niall Coughlan and Michael McMahon, Stephen Culliney Heating & Plumbing, Connellan & McGuane Heating and Plumbing, and David McKeon of Central Roofing. His main suppliers are Shannonside Hardware, Chadwicks, Heat Merchants and Barry Smythe DIY, while the architects / engineers he uses include Kevin Jackson Architects, Hassett Leydon & Associates, P Coleman & Associates, Joe Quinn & Associates, McKenna Consulting Engineers and LOD Architects.

While James Malone Construction is mostly engaged in private work, the company can also count the OPW, HSE, Department of Education, LCETB and Clare County Council among its long list of valued clients. One of its most interesting recent projects was the new NZEB Retrofit Centre of Excellence in Roxboro for LCETB which was officially opened by Minister Simon Harris in March 2022 and offers training to approximately 1,500 learners annually. The Centre provides training in NZEB Electrical, NZEB Plastering, NZEB Plumbing, NZEB Bricklaying, NZEB Carpentry complemented by training in NZEB fundamentals, Air Tightness, Ventilation and Insulation. Training is further enhanced via upskilling courses in Solar and Heat Pump Technologies.

Retrofit Insulation Skills provide participants with the knowledge and skill to insulate a building using best practice. This includes internal, external, floor and roof insulation. The 14,000 sq. ft. training facility provides skills training for individuals who are unemployed and for individuals in employment who are seeking to upskill. The Centre of Excellence is already contributing to national policy priorities on Housing for All – housing construction, retrofitting of homes and carbon reduction.

“We were particularly proud of that one because it’s going to produce the next generation of builders, architects and engineers in this part of the country. Fittingly, it’s also a highly-energy efficient building,” Ronan says.

“We’ve been involved in a lot of HSE projects down through the years, most of which are Health Centre refurbs. We’re currently carrying out deep retrofits and refurbishments to two houses in Ennis and another in Ardnacrusha. Our most recent residential new build was in Sixmilebridge. The new houses we build typically range from 2,500 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft.”

Asked what the secret to the family business’ success and longevity is, Ronan replies: “It all comes down to customer service. You have to look after your customers and give them excellent service and that will win you repeat business. My father would have built houses for the parents – and, grandparents, in some cases – of some of the people who are coming to me today. Your reputation is very important and if you give good service, people will either come back or recommend you to others.”

While happy to report that material costs have “settled down” since the pandemic and the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Ronan is concerned about the labour shortage in the industry.

“That’s the big worry going forward. There aren’t many apprentices coming through anymore. On the upside, advances in technology and modern methods of construction are helping,” adds the affable managing director, who is grateful for the support he receives from his wife Siobhan and children Holly (10), Paddy (six) and Kate (two).

Ronan would also like to take this opportunity to thank his clients, suppliers, subcontractors and architects for their continued support as well as his hard-working team for their dedication and expertise.

James Malone Construction Ltd



Co. Clare.

Telephone: 065 6829028

Mobile: 087 6697969

Email: [email protected]

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, June 2024, Vol 10 No 6