Irish builder McNamara Construction has shut all its sites after going into receivership, it has been confirmed.
Workers arriving at a number of public projects, including Tallaght IT and Letterkenny Hospital, were refused entry to sites and instead were forced to picket at the gates. The company has been taken over by Farrell Grant Sparks.
McNamara has previously taken on flagship projects at Lansdowne Road, Sir Rogerson Quay and the Shelbourne Hotel.
An application for receivership and management was lodged over the weekend, the FGS Partnership confirmed, but it did not give any details of the business’ current financial state.
Over the last decade, the company run by Bernard McNamara has been involved in prestigious private contracts and key public private partnerships.
Mr McNamara stepped back from running the business earlier this year after running into severe personal financial difficulties. It is believed he is more than one billion euro in debt.
He was involved in the 412m euro deal to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend in 2007 which has been clouded by its funding by Anglo-Irish Bank and the role played by Anglo’s directors on the board of Dublin Docklands Authority.
Up until late on Sunday evening the McNamara firm also had sites operating at NUI Galway and Dun Laoghaire,
The group’s prestigious private work included part of the Point Village in the docklands, the Killanin Stand at Galway racecourse and the Shelbourne.
It also secured many lucrative and high-profile State-financed projects, including hospital projects at St Vincent’s Dublin, Tullamore, Letterkenny, social housing in Cork and Dublin, road schemes, third level institutions and the extension of the National Gallery.
Labour’s Willie Penrose said the appointment of a receiver to the firm was another disastrous development for the construction sector.
He raised fears that apart from the jobs of the 100 or so directly employed, it will have serious consequences for scores of sub-contractors.
“This company was engaged in many public sector contracts,” said Mr Penrose, party spokesman on enterprise, trade and innovation.
“At a very minimum now, we are likely to see further delays in the completion of key projects in the health and educational sectors and some contracts may have to be renegotiated.
“I am particularly concerned about the plight of sub-contractors who have been working on sites for Michael McNamara Construction.
“As with the recent case of Pierse Construction it appears that these smallscale contractors are going to be the first to be asked to take a hit.”
Mr Penrose said some sub-contractors who were due to be paid this weekend now face difficulties in paying their own staff and suppliers.
“This in turn will have a severe negative knock-on impact in many communities in the run up to Christmas,” he added.