Second year of growth predicted – but lack of infrastructure needs to be addressed

Pictured at the recent Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Western and Midlands Region Breakfast Briefing in the Clayton Hotel, Galway were (from left) IDA Divisional Manager Frank Conlon; Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF; John O’Regan, Director, AECOM; Dominic Doheny, President, CIF; Tara Flynn, Chairperson, CIF Galway Branch; Justin Molloy, Regional Director, CIF and Tomás Kelly, Director, AECOM.
Pictured at the recent Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Western and Midlands Region Breakfast Briefing in the Clayton Hotel, Galway were (from left) IDA Divisional Manager Frank Conlon; Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF; John O’Regan, Director, AECOM; Dominic Doheny, President, CIF; Tara Flynn, Chairperson, CIF Galway Branch; Justin Molloy, Regional Director, CIF and Tomás Kelly, Director, AECOM.

The construction industry in the west continues to lag behind the east coast – but industry experts are still projecting a year of continued growth in 2018.

And part of that is down to the fact that increased activity is now extending well beyond the Greater Dublin Area – and into the west.

But that is diluted just a little by ongoing concerns over Galway’s infrastructure – transport, utilities and residential housing – which, like much of the rest of the country, is lagging behind Dublin.

Across the country as a whole, the industry grew by 14% in value terms in 2018 – after expanding by 18% in 2017 – according to the AECOM Ireland Annual Review which was unveiled at a Construction Industry Federation Breakfast Briefing in the Clayton Hotel, Galway this week.

The AECOM Ireland Annual Review found that tender prices rose by 7% in 2017 and are expected to increase on average, across the country, by 6.6% in 2018; that’s 5% in the West of Ireland as compared to 7.5% in Dublin.

It also predicted that construction costs were likely to increase by 3.5% in 2018 due to increases in the cost of labour and materials.

It found that employment rose by 10,500 between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 or 7.5%; but it also warned that recruitment of construction staff will continue to be a challenge especially in the residential sector which is more labour intensive.

Speaking at the CIF event, John O’Regan, Head of Buildings and Places, AECOM Republic of Ireland, while welcoming this continued strong growth in construction in the region and nationwide, highlighted ongoing concerns over the area’s slow infrastructure development in relation to homes, transport and utilities.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.