The next chapter of JJ Rhatigan & Company
Recognition as a best managed company is like the start of a new phase for the well-known building firm, writes Arlene Harris
Construction is integral to Ireland’s economy and since 1952, JJ Rhatigan & Company (JJR) has prided itself on being a ‘brand of distinction, fortitude, and excellence’ in the sector. The company has seen an upward trajectory of growth over the past 70 years, and its influence is prominent in the changing skylines of Dublin, Galway, Cork, Sligo, and, since 2013, London.
With an impressive pipeline of projects valued in excess of €1 billion, and a projected revenue exceeding €350 million for the coming year, the construction giant's footprint is both deep and expansive. And chief executive Ger Ronayne is proud of its success to date.
“When you’ve been in the industry for decades, as JJR has, you see the ebb and flow of trends, but our core principles have remained steadfast,” he said. “The same dedication, commitment to safety, quality, and innovation that Padraic Rhatigan built the company on, remains at the heart of our operations.
“There is a need for the sector to be managed efficiently to ensure broader economic success for the nation, but the impacts are local — it is impossible to talk about projects delivered by the JJR team without noting the impact on local communities. The company has been instrumental in building 3,600 homes, providing 13,000 school places through educational infrastructure, establishing nine progressive third-level campus facilities, and spearheading many more infrastructural projects. So, we’re not just a construction company, we are a part of the community. Every home we’ve built and every school or campus we’ve had a hand in, represents a commitment to the future of Ireland and the UK.
“As the construction landscape continues to change, shaped by Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), digitalisation, and decarbonisation, it is clear that the objective is not merely to adapt to these challenges, but to be at the forefront, leading and championing them.”
Indeed, the chief executive says that sustainability is ‘more than a buzzword’ for JJR — it’s a commitment.
“The company’s focus on eco-friendly methods and practices underscores its responsibility to the environment and future generations,” he said. “We are acutely aware of our responsibility as we’re not just building for today but for generations to come. Sustainable practices are not optional; they’re a necessity.
“Another cornerstone of JJR’s longstanding success is its approach to client relationships — our partners, clients, and associates are not just business entities; they’re an extension of the JJR family. Our relationships are built on trust, transparency, and mutual respect. It’s a two-way street where we learn, adapt, and grow together.”
Ronayne believes that these attributes helped the company to stand out in terms of the Best Managed Companies programme, from which it benefited greatly.
“Robust governance around the business of construction makes us stand out as we consistently deliver great projects and we excel at the business of construction,” he said. “And with regard to the awards programme, the calibre of the mentors we were assigned as new applicants was very beneficial. Also, their generosity with both time and expertise was excellent.”
Following the news of the firm’s success, Ronayne’s vision for the future of JJR is both pragmatic and ambitious.
“We are set to harness the technological advancements and integrate them into our operations, ensuring we remain at the forefront of construction innovation,” he said. “But amidst all the technological progress, our primary focus will always be our people, as the workforce and our supply chain are our most valuable assets."
"Good governance, to me, is about clear vision and consistent action. It’s about setting goals, ensuring everyone understands them, and then providing the resources and environment to achieve those objectives. And in some ways, the most recent accolade from Ireland’s Best Managed Companies marks the start of our new chapter in the company’s proud history — refined, sharp, energetic, and very purposeful.”
At the heart of JJR’s operations is a comprehensive suite of metrics and KPIs which align with their strategic objectives, ranging from health and safety to innovation. This structured approach facilitates informed decision-making and ensures alignment with the company’s overarching vision.
"Our metrics and KPIs are not just figures; they guide our strategies and decisions,” said the CEO. “With digital tools at our disposal, we can make more informed decisions, optimising our operations and ensuring we continue to meet, if not exceed, our standards of excellence.
“In the unpredictable world of construction, bringing predictability and consistency is vital.
“We owe a large part of our success to our dedicated team — people are at the core of everything we do. Without the right people, culture, and governance, we wouldn’t be positioned to deliver on our strategy. Their skill, commitment, and passion drive us forward. And as leaders, it’s our responsibility to support them, ensuring that they have the tools, training, and environment to excel.”
With a burgeoning portfolio, recognition from industry peers is a testament to the company’s consistent quality and performance — the trusted values they look forward to continuing long into the future.
“Being recognised brings a renewed sense of achievement and a sense of pride across the entire team — it’s a confirmation that we’re on the right path,” said Ronayne.
“Also, in our line of work, adaptability is key as the world of construction is ever evolving. But while methods and tools might change, our commitment to quality, safety, and innovation remains unwavering. Every challenge is an opportunity, and at JJR, we’re always ready to embrace it. Our distinct culture thrives on this approach.”