In January, McKelan Construction Ltd in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford marked 20 years since its inception. Building Ireland touched base with Managing Director Sean McKelvie to find out more about a company which has developed a proud reputation for quality, innovation and excellence.
Things have come a long way for McKelan Construction Ltd since it was co-founded by Sean McKelvie and the late John Whelan two decades ago.
Operating out of Macmine, Bree beside Enniscorthy in Co Wexford, the company today employs 25 full-time staff and offers its clients a range of different services in construction and building work in the residential, commercial, industrial, education and leisure sectors.
Along with its direct staff, McKelan Construction also uses another 150 on a subcontract basis and, down through the years, it has delivered excellent projects time and time again which has grown the reputation of the firm into the outstanding one it is today.
Building Ireland spoke with MD Sean McKelvie shortly after the 20th anniversary was officially marked in order to hear about the company’s current projects and its overall hopes for the year ahead.
“It’s been very busy for us here and, I suppose, there has been a bit of turmoil with regards increased costs in materials and shortage of labour. From that point of view, we’ve had to work hard on things,” he said.
“(During the Covid pandemic) we had some essential work that we could keep working on. We did close for the first time for seven weeks and then we were lucky enough to have some essential work on the remainder of it.
“So, we were able to keep ticking over. By no means was it full belt, but we were able to keep one or two projects moving.”
Today, McKelan Construction’s books are full up with projects, having successfully delivered the Wexford Arts Centre for Wexford County Council towards the end of the last year.
Based at Cornmarket, Ferrybank South in Wexford Town, the project itself spanned 14 months, was valued at €2.5m and is expected to win awards this year, with Sean himself describing it as “a landmark project” for the company.
Others works for the firm in its home county saw it on a 16-house development in Blackwater village and, at the moment, they have a number of on-going projects in the capital, as the Managing Director himself outlined.
“We done a national school in Mountrath, Co Laois and, after that, we were working in Dublin at commercial units,” he said.
“Right now, we’re doing a nice sized project in Swords which has three phases and it’s all amounting to about €10m. Phase One is completed, Phase Two is on-going and Phase Three will be starting later this year and they are all car showrooms and civil works around the buildings.
“We’re also doing a residential development near Dundrum. There are six houses on that particular one and we’re also doing a residential project which is 11 apartments.
“We’ve some one-off houses as well, with one of them being a large house with a swimming pool in Castleknock.”
Indeed, business is going strong and, without a doubt, McKelan Construction’s reputation for excellence when it comes to delivering its work is a product of knowledge, team work, dedication and total commitment to achieving exceptional results.
Since ‘Day One’, the company has worked closely with its clients in order to deliver total satisfaction and it’s an approach which has certainly paid dividends down through the years.
Ask Sean McKelvie why he feels clients continue to choose McKelan Construction ahead of its other competitors in the industry and he’ll put it to you plainly.
“They like the way we approach things,” he stated. “We work as a team with all aspects of the design team all working together.
“We bring in jobs on time and within budget and, I suppose, they’re big factors in why people like working with us.”
Of course, Sean himself remains a major presence in the company he co-founded back in 2003, as he’s very much in tune with activities across all of its sites. He is always at the end of the phone to deal with any queries a client or stakeholder may have.
Along with being a ‘one-stop shop’ for all aspects of construction, McKelan Construction also has a zero-accident tolerance and is continually striving for improvement in this area.
Health and Safety is very much at the core of the company and never more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through delivering in a safe and sound manner for its clients, the business has managed to continue its growth year on year and, at the moment, its Managing Director is satisfied with the team it has at its disposal.
“As the turnover rises, I suppose you will increase the staff but, at the minute, I think we are happy enough in that we have enough there to do €10million turnover and we’ve enough there to do €16m turnover, we’ve enough there at the minute,” he said.
“Our team here comprises of three Quantity Surveyors, an accounts man and two in admin and purchasing.”
Looking towards the months ahead, Sean says continuing to move forward through delivering top of the line projects will, as always, remain the chief objective at McKelan Construction.
“We hope to continue the growth of the business. We went from €10m to €16m last year of a turnover and we want to continue that growth and keep working with the same clients and design teams.
“We want to make sure that this year is a profitable one first and foremost and keep moving on,” he concluded.
A contractor that is clearly going from strength to strength, McKelan Construction would like to take this opportunity to thank its clients and suppliers for their continued support as well as its staff, design team and subcontractors for their hard work, dedication and expertise.
Here’s to another 20 years.
McKelan Construction Ltd
Co. Wexford Y21 AX52
Tel: 053 9247464
Fax: 053 9247471
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, April 2023, Vol 9 No 4