Firm foundations for continuing growth

One of the most recognisable names in Irish construction, JJ Rhatigan is on a mission to build a better future and looking for the next generation of talent to help deliver its €1.5 billion pipeline of projects

JJ Rhatigan has delivered in excess of 3,500 private and social homes, 12,000 school places, nine third-level campus facilities, 2,000 student bedrooms, close to 1,300 hotel bedrooms, 16 healthcare facilities, and over 40,000m of office and commercial space

For 70 years, JJ Rhatigan has been leading the industry, and despite pressures brought about by events such as Covid-19 and rising prices, the past five years have brought substantial growth.

The company has delivered an excess of 3,500 private and social homes, 12,000 school places, nine new third-level campus facilities, 2,000 student accommodation bedrooms, close to 1,300 hotel bedrooms, 16 healthcare facilities, and over 40,000m2 of office and commercial space.

The team experienced a busy year in 2021 across all divisions of the company, with 465 social homes having been delivered as part of the PPP bundles (152 homes across Co Cork).

Next year looks set to be equally busy for this innovative and future-focused building contractor.

Delivering for Cork

JJ Rhatigan has delivered close to €30 million worth of education, research and student accommodation on the UCC Campus in recent years.

This includes the UCC Beaufort Maritime & Energy Research Building and the careful redevelopment of one of the oldest buildings on this historic campus into a six-storey Student Hub Building, catering for 18,000 students.

This latter project won Building of the Year at the 2021 Irish Concrete Society Awards and, significantly, took first place for Adaptation/Re-Use at the prestigious Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Awards 2021.

Ger Ronayne, chief executive of JJ Rhatigan & Company: ‘Construction is, and always has been, a people business’

As a certified heritage contractor, the team was brought in to deliver the €21.2 million Maldron Hotel on Cork city’s South Mall in recent years.

This landmark design, build and restoration project artfully integrated the existing protected structures into the 163-bedroom development, while retaining the protected façade.

JJ Rhatigan is currently onsite delivering no fewer than four schools across Munster, with a combined value exceeding €105 million.

These include the extension of the existing Patrician Academy in Mallow, construction of the new 1,000-pupil Carrigtwohill Community College, and the delivery of Scoil Chliodhna Community National School in Carrigtwohill.

Placing people and partners at the centre

According to Ger Ronayne, the chief executive of JJ Rhatigan, the ambitions of the company are clear: to ensure it is, and continues to be, the employer of choice for people new to the industry and for those seeking their next opportunity to advance.

The past few years have been turbulent ones for the industry, not just in Ireland, but globally. JJ Rhatigan used this opportunity to grow and strengthen the team across all levels of the organisation, which has led to an evolution of the culture of the company and to its HR approach.

“Construction is, and always has been, a people business,” Ronayne said. “With an ambitious €1.5 billion pipeline of projects to deliver, we need to attract and retain the right talent to work with – and alongside – the company. And we want these people to be successful, that is our driving mission.”

Construction is a process of alchemy, it brings to life a design or vision for the future and this is exciting. The company understands the importance of nurturing this excitement and enthusiasm for building the future, whether digitally or onsite.

Ronayne sees the evolving role of the company as creating a home for the next generation of skills and passion.

This amounts to so much more than just remuneration and benefits. In such a competitive market, people value opportunities, support, success and the overall culture of the company and JJ Rhatigan is committed to developing the right culture across the team.

JJ Rhatigan’s commitment to nurture talent extends beyond the direct employees and right across the supply chain. Understanding the value of a skilled, satisfied and financially robust supply chain – and the main contractors’ role in developing and supporting this – the company is in the process of rolling out its supply chain manifesto.

The aim of this initiative is to deepen the contractor’s understanding of issues of concern to the subcontractor, as a first step to building a strong, open, long-term relationship that is mutually beneficial.

This manifesto is the outcome of a period of two-way engagement with members of the supply chain, supported by an external research agency, and sets out a number of key principles that address themes of concern expressed by participants.

Through these principles, JJ Rhatigan makes a number of commitments to subcontractors, including the provision of a responsible tender process; healthy, mutual business relationships; open and honest communication; best practice site management and efficiency of payment.

“We are only as good as our people, and that includes our subcontractors,” Ronayne said. “Our vision for success and for a sustainable construction future depends upon collaboration and trust. The fate of the company is intertwined with that of our people.”

For more visit jjrhatigan.com