Ruairi Ryan stands outside the premises of Kirby Group Engineering in Raheen Business Park, holding up a sign bearing the company’s logo.
Ruairi Ryan at Kirby Group Engineering headquarters in Limerick. Image: Press 22

Limerick’s Kirby Group reveals expansion plans including 300 new jobs

2 Jul 2021

Kirby Group Engineering is expanding to meet growing demand, particularly in the construction of data centres.

Irish family-owned engineering firm Kirby Group Engineering has announced the creation of 300 jobs.

These roles are being filled from Kirby’s headquarters in Limerick and some recruits will have the opportunity to be deployed across projects in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

The announcement follows the addition of 200 new employees in 2020, bringing Kirby’s total staff to more than 1,200 people.

“This announcement, coupled with recruitment last year in spite of the global pandemic, will result in our team growing by 500 in a two-year period,” said Kirby Group Engineering MD Mark Flanagan.

“Our team is making fantastic in-roads at the cutting edge of construction across Europe and the people we welcome onboard in this phase will be a vital support to the future of the company,” he added.

Recruitment has already begun for some of the new jobs at Kirby Group Engineering, which include engineering, commercial, operations and administrative roles.

The company also revealed plans to invest €2m in upgrading its headquarters in Raheen Business Park. Construction is expected to take six months, with the revamped facility due to be up and running by the end of the year.

“I’m very proud to unveil this expansion plan at our Limerick headquarters on a landmark day for Kirby,” said Flanagan.

Limerick native Ruairi Ryan has been appointed business unit leader for Munster and will lead this expansion.

“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to our staff and customers in this part of Ireland, which set us on the road towards an exciting journey of growth,” he said.

Ryan has been working with Kirby since his time as an apprentice with the company. Among the new jobs announced, almost 100 new hires will come through Kirby’s apprenticeship scheme and graduate programme.

Founded by Tom and Michael Kirby in 1964, Kirby Group Engineering provides mechanical and electrical engineering and construction services. The company has operations in seven countries across Europe.

Kirby’s portfolio includes data centres and projects for the life sciences, industrial, commercial and energy sectors. Its expansion is intended to help meet demand for its services across and Ireland and Europe, and the company predicts particular growth through data centre construction.

For 2021, Kirby Group Engineering forecasts turnover of €360m.

As it has expanded overseas, Kirby Group has received support from Enterprise Ireland, the State’s economic development agency.

“We want Ireland to be a great location, and a competitive location, to start and scale businesses just like this,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD. “Kirby’s expansion is testament to the skills and talent this country has to offer.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, took the announcement as a “reason to be hopeful” for brighter days ahead after a difficult year for businesses across the country.

“This is great news, not just for Limerick but across the country and indeed Europe, where Kirby Group operates. I’m especially pleased to see the investment the company is making in taking on apprentices – that’s a big priority for Government,” he said.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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