Superb craft skills and excellent customer services enabled O'Neill Brothers Master Joiners, part of Derry-based building contractors O'Neill Bros, to secure a major contract in the Republic of Ireland in the face of stiff competition.

The Northern Ireland company won the contract to supply and fit the extensive external joinery work at the prestigious European Union Food and Veterinary building in Grange, Co. Meath, which covers 12,500 sq metres on a 22 acre site.

A further endorsement of the quality of the company’s craftsmanship has been provided by the Irish Timber Trade Association, which named O’Neill Brothers Master Joiners for a Special Award of Excellence in its annual awards ceremony in November.

The Irish Timber Trade Association Award for Excellence was presented by Martin Cullen, the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for the Environment and Local Government, in recognition of the company’s high quality joinery work on the European Union building.

Congratulating O’Neill Bros, Cheryl Chambers, Client Executive at Invest NI’s North West Local Office in Derry, said: “This award is an acknowledgement of the quality of the workmanship and attention to detail which underpin the company’s overall approach to business.

“In addition to its expertise in new joinery projects for a broad range of private and public buildings ranging from hotels to schools, the company has emerged as a leader in woodwork conservation and restoration,” she added.

Manus O’Neill, Director of O’Neill Bros Master Joiners, described the offices as “one of the most ambitious timber buildings in Europe”.

Referring to the European Union project, Mr O’Neill said: “Before being awarded this prestigious contract we were rigorously assessed by the Commission on our capability and past performance.

“The superb skills of our workforce were recognised in this contract by the EU and the subsequent award for excellence from the Irish Timber Trade Association.

“We spent many weeks researching and preparing for the contract. We consulted with all leading timber suppliers to enable us to match the exacting criteria for the extensive external joinery work.

“The awards also highlight the continuing importance of timber. Even in this age of technology timber is and will continue to be in demand because it is a natural product which combines versatility and aesthetic appeal,” he added.

The company has also completed a series of prestigious projects in Northern Ireland and the Republic including the restoration of joinery work in the Debating Chamber of Parliament Buildings, Stormont. Other contracts have included refurbishment of bars and hotels in Ireland, Europe and the USA.