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Profile “There has never been so much steel construction activity in Ireland.” rather fortuitous. In 1988 Andrew, purchased a using the NSSS Black Book.” Above left: AMSE’s burnt-out factory in the town. He says the BCSA gives excellent technical completed steelwork at To cut a long story short Andrew went it alone advice and assistance and joining could only help Croke Park. and started his own steel fabrication company. After the Irish construction market. Above: Taoiseach Bertie refurbishing the factory, installing equipment and “There has never been so much steel Ahern and Andrew hiring staff, Andrew Mannion Engineering began construction activity in Ireland, we’ve experienced Mannion at the opening of operations in 1988. 10% to 15% growth per annum in the last 10 years,” AMSE’s production facility Andrew is Dublin born and bred but has now says Andrew. “This growth has been right across extension. lived and worked in the Athlone area for more than the board and I encouraged other Irish steelwork 20 years. “It is a great location and being so central contractors to join the BCSA as a way of helping the means we are ideally placed to deliver steel and sector mature, because of all this activity.” work anywhere in Ireland,” he explains. A total of nine Irish steelwork contractors, which From an early stage he says the company represented the nation’s leading steel firms, were wanted to offer the industry an alternative to large initially offered a year’s BCSA trial membership. steel construction companies. “With my engineering Once this was completed the entire block joined to expertise we decided to go for the small difficult form the Ireland Region. jobs.” Andrew concludes that through seminars and The 1980s had not been kind to the Irish steel publications more local consultants will be educated construction industry, and during the decade’s and informed about the advantages of steel Below: Andrew Mannion recession many fabricators had gone bust. Andrew construction. “The parameters of cost compared to surrounded by staff and students of the DIT during Mannion Engineering entered the market just as concrete may be slightly different here from the UK, the presentation and things started to look up. Again some fortuitous but steel is still the right material for many many donation of a steel testing timing was involved, but Andrew says he has simply projects.” machine. just taken opportunities as they have presented themselves. “Nothing has been too pre-planned, I’ve always had broad and achievable career aspirations and these have been achieved,” he adds. The company’s phoenix-like rise from the factory ashes was well timed and the firm grew generically through the 1990s completing more than 1,300 projects, right across the board, by the end of the decade. Since completing the Croke Park project AMSE has gone from strength to strength and Andrew says its design department is unrivalled in Ireland. As the firm was now at the forefront of the Irish steel construction industry Andrew’s thoughts turned to how he could improve the local sector. “I initially became aware of the BCSA by seeing and NSC March 2008 13


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