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Published in Commercial Property on 24/02/2017

Top Construction & Property Stories: Your 10 at 10

#10at10 #newsroundup

CNI Editor reports

Some of the most noteworthy construction stories from the last week, as compiled by the team at Construction Network Ireland.

(Have a story you think should be covered? Contact


Ashford Studios, the home of the hit TV show Vikings is planning a €90 million expansion plan according to plans submitted to Wicklow County Council.

The plan includes the construction of four additional film studios, a TV-production studio and support offices, and is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs. The development includes plans for a visitor centre which hopes to attract 100,000 visitors per year.

The application comes at the same time that rival Ardmore studios is up for sale. Ardmore’s owners of Ardmore insisting that the studio is for sale as agoing concerndespite much concern that the studios will be sold as a development site.

The film industry in Ireland saw production activity surpass €250 million for the first time last year, but faces stiff competition from both Northern Ireland and the UK.


Shares in construction giant CRH fell by 3% on the stock market this week on the back of news that US President Donald Trump’s promised infrastructure spending plan looks to be delayed significantly at the very least.

CRH shares have done well since Trump’s election, as their US subsiduary is well-placed to take advantage of any major infrastructure spending programme in the US, particularly the figure bandied about by the new US President – $550 billion.

The fall highlights how over-reliant the ISEQ index of Irish shares is on a few large players – CRH makes up 30% of the value on the ISEQ.


A report by the European Commission has heavily criticised the lack of housing in Ireland, highlighting the rapid increase in homelessness over the past few years as well as highlighting infrastructure problems long ignored by the government – water, healthcare transport & childcare, to name a few.

The report is also critical of many of Housing Minister Simon Coveney’s initiatives – the report considers the ‘help-to-buy’ scheme counter-productive for increasing demand for housing, and also suggests that the rent cap could dampen new construction.

The EU said the housing shortage is having a chilling effect on foreign investment, “as firms have difficulties finding suitable accommodation for employees”.

While the report does not make for easy reading, we find it very hard to disagree with its main points.


Speaking of the Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney is making a lot of announcements recently – nothing to do with any other political stories in the news at the moment we are sure.

This week Minister Coveney announced that construction would begin on 400 social housing homes in the city, involving a €97 million investment across 18 sites.

The announcement also committed to delivering a further 900 social houses through a combination of house purchases, restoring vacant homes etc.


Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell has called for the construction of a national cricket stadium at a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY – a Cricket Stadium.

We would usually save a story like this for our ‘and finally…’ section towards the end of the 10@10, but given all that the Public Accounts could be looking into right now, we believe that Deputy Farrell’s comments deserve attention (though not for the reason he may have hoped for).


It is a story well covered by Construction Network Ireland, but the official figures show that last year there were sales of €850 million in the Irish hotel market.

It’s an unbelievable figure, but perhaps even more so is the fact that, since 2011, more than one in every three Irish hotels have changed hands.

The big growth in the industry over the next three years is now looking towards construction of new build hotels – more on that in the coming weeks and months.


The annual GMIT International Construction Management Day Conference, which will take place on Tuesday 7 March, will hear that the construction industry in Ireland will grow by €3 billion this year.

Hosted by the GMIT Department of Building and Civil Engineering, the conference brings together architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors and academics to discuss matters of interest in the built environment.

The event is free to attend and this year will host a major workshop on Building Information Modelling (BIM) with some top speakers from the industry in Ireland attending. For more information go here.


The first infrastructure contract for the mammoth Centre Parcs holiday park in Co. Longford has been awarded to Road bridge Civil Engineering & Building Contractors.

The Limerick based company has won an infrastructure contract to build earthworks, road and paths networks, a lake, drainage systems, utilities and more.

It is expected that work on the site will begin in May and be completed within two years.


Engineering and project management group DPS is expanding into the United Kingdom with the acquisition of Alban Technical Recruitment for an undisclosed sum.

Alban provides contract engineering personnel for the pharmaceutical, medical device and microelectronics industries in the UK. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

DPS is a leading engineering and construction firm with a focus on the life sciences and semiconductor sectors

And finally…


It’s always great to see Ireland getting recognised – whether it is an Irish athlete grabbing an unexpected medal, an Irish movie doing well at the Oscars or an Irish business ranking high on a list internationally, it always instils a bit of pride in us Paddy’s.

Yesterday we heard whispers that a high profile project had ranked at the top of an international ranking list and we can now confirm – the new National Children’s Hospital on the St. James site in Dublin City Centre is officially the most expensive childrens hospital ever to be built, and the second most expensive hospital ever.

The new children’s hospital came second in the overall ranking to the high-tech Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, where robots will deliver food and equipment to rooms.

At €2.2 billion the cost of the Royal Adelaide is significantly higher than the National Children’s hospital, but it will have almost twice as many beds. Unlike the estimated €1 billion cost for the Irish hospital the price quoted for the Adelaide includes IT and equipment and – it has to be said – robots.