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Image: Eamonn Farrell

Concerns over future of construction firm involved in building social housing

Questions hang over the completion of social and affordable housing projects.
Sep 14th 2018, 8:05 PM 24,169 37

THE DEPARTMENT OF Housing is understood to be “working towards a solution” after fears emerged today that a major construction company involved in State contracts to build social housing is in financial trouble.

MDY Construction is understood to be building social housing units in Cherry Orchard as well as social and affordable homes in Bray, County Wicklow. A number of other sites in Dublin are also affected.

A number of subcontractors working on site have complained that they have not been paid. 

Concerns have been mounting today over the Nass-based company, which is involved in building state-funded social and affordable housing projects. 

It is understood some of MDY’s developments are state-funded under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

A statement from the department said this evening: 

The department is aware of the situation which is a matter for the concerned local authorities and Assisted Housing Bodies and the construction company. Local authorities and Assisted Housing Bodies are working towards a solution to the matter.

One subcontractor told TheJournal.ie it is owed in excess of €300,000, and said other subcontractors are owed similar amounts.

They said the government needs to step in, stating that subcontractors are going to lose out. This subcontractor said it has tried to contact Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and Dublin City Council over their concerns, but has yet to hear back. 

“Did the government not check that they had sufficient funds behind them to follow through on these projects?” they asked.

The Irish Independent reports today that one subcontractor has removed its scaffolding from an MDY site for 32 houses at Dunmurray Rise, Bishopsland, County Kildare amid fears that they will not be paid the €140,000 owed to them. 

While it is yet to be confirmed to what extent are the difficulties with MDY Construction, the managing director Mel O’Reilly told RTÉ News that while the company is trying to resolve issues, it may not be able to do so.  

He said he hoped to bring some clarity to the situation by Monday, but could not do so at present.  

The news about MDY follows on from the stalling of school building projects after the UK-based firm Carillion went bust with debts of £1.5 billion (about €1.7 billion).

Carillion was part of a consortium, Inspired Spaces, hired to build five schools and one further education college in Ireland.

Sammon Contracting Group was hired by the consortium to build the schools. It later entered into examinership.

A number of contractors expressed concerns about not getting paid as a result of the collapse, with some businesses believed to be owed amounts ranging from a few hundred euro to hundreds of thousands.

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Christina Finn

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