Northern Ireland

McGrath Bros: 171 jobs to go at Lisburn-based construction firm

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Media captionBBC News NI's economics and business editor, John Campbell, gave more details on the redundancies to BBC Newsline's Donna Traynor

A County Antrim-based construction firm has gone into liquidation with the loss of 171 jobs.

McGrath Bros (Engineering) Group Ltd, based in Lisburn, has four operational sites in Northern Ireland, London, Birmingham and South East England.

It specialised in the manufacturing and installation of metalwork.

The firms employs 121 people at its operations in Lisburn and the rest on the UK mainland.

The McGrath group was founded in 1981 and worked on major projects across the UK, including the London Olympics Aquatics Centre.

Image caption The firm employs 121 people at its Northern Ireland operations in Lisburn

The business entered a voluntary arrangement with its creditors last year, but continuing financial pressures meant it could not fulfil the terms of that deal, and the directors have said they now have no option but to cease trading.

'Severe impact'

Joint managing director Brian McGrath said trading conditions in the manufacturing and construction sectors had a "severe impact" on the business.

He said: "Legacy contracts taken on during the recession have also taken their toll on main contractors and specialist sub-contractors alike, all linking to underpayments of completed works and disputed final accounts."

He added that all possible options to continue operations had been explored, but that the firms had been unable to find a positive outcome.

"We know this will be a very difficult time for our staff, many of who have given years of loyal service to the company, " he said.

"It is our hope that once appointed, the administrator will secure a buyer for McGrath Bros (Engineering) Group Ltd and that as many jobs as possible will be saved."

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