Derry building firm shuts after 50 years

Londonderry building firm O'Neill Brothers has closed after more than 50 years in business.

More than 20 people were employed by the firm, which was based in Pennyburn Industrial Estate.

One of the owners, Phelim O'Neill, said telling his workers was probably the hardest thing he has ever had to do.

"I said I wished them the best, and God willing, hopefully in time we might get some of them back."

"Nobody could have predicted what would have happened with the economy, and we tried to weather it, and it's horrendously hard to sit here and say, how has this come to an end?

"The company has entered into a company voluntary arrangement, and the directors hope that within this arrangement our creditors will be paid fully.

"It's been in our blood since my grandfather," said Mr O'Neill.

O'Neills opened in 1956, and built many high-profile buildings in Derry, including the council offices on Strand Road and the O'Doherty Fort.