Woodvale Construction wins contract for six unfinished schools

Stalled project after Carillion collapse resulted in liquidation of Sammon Construction Ireland,

Woodvale Construction has won the contract to restart building six schools left unfinished following January's collapse of British group Carillion.

Work on the schools in counties Carlow, Meath, Wexford and Wicklow, stalled in January after Carillion, one of the partners in the project, collapsed owing creditors £7 billion.

Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF), the other partner, said on Monday that it has appointed Omagh, Co Tyrone-based Woodvale as a replacement contractor.

DIF said that Woodvale would complete the three most advanced buildings, Loreto College, Wexford, and Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell Primary School in Bray Co Wicklow, by the end of August.



The contractor will also survey and do preliminary work on the other three buildings, Tyndall College and Carlow Institute of Further Education in Carlow, and Eureka Secondary School, Kells. Co Meath. DIF said that work on those schools would finish by the end of December.

The original €100 million deal between the State, Carillion and DIF, set September as a target date for the six schools.

October was the contract date, while the main contractor would pay penalties would apply if the work was delayed beyond January 2019.

Woodvale saw off bids from Sisk, JJ Rhatigan and BAM to win the contract. It will begin work in coming weeks, according to DIF.

The stalled project resulted in the liquidation of Sammon Construction Ireland, which was building the schools.


Carillion-DIF joint venture, Inspired Spaces, hired Sammon through a Carillion subsidiary to build the schools. The contract involved the buildings’ construction and their management once they were completed.

Sammon relied for cash flow on the €4 million a-month that Carillion was paying it for building the schools. Once work halted in January, that dried up, leaving the company in financial difficulty.

Sammon initially went into examinership - a court-supervised system for rescuing troubled companies - on the basis that it was likely to get the contract to finish the work in partnership with BAM.

However, a delay in awarding the contract forced examiner, Grant Thornton managing partner, Michael McAteer, to ask the High Court to wind up Sammon.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas