Brexit, skilled labour shortages, and the slow progress in implementing sustainable housing policies are key challenges facing suppliers to the construction sector, according to business organisation Guaranteed Irish. Irish Construction Industry Magazine had the pleasure of catching up with CEO Brid O’Connell to get an insight into how the organisation is playing a key part in helping building companies push ahead.

ICIM: Tell us more about Guaranteed Irish.

B O’C: “Guaranteed Irish is a not for profit business membership organisation which champions homegrown and international businesses that have chosen to invest in Ireland. Established in 1974 as part of the Irish Goods Council, it became a private sector not for profit organisation limited by guarantee in 1984. “The organisation works on a twin track approach to promote both home grown and international businesses investing in Ireland which support job creation, contribute to the community and promote Irish provenance with pride.”

ICIM: Tell is about GI membership?

B O’C: “Guaranteed Irish has grown from 150 members to 340 members nationwide. Approximately 50 of these are from the Construction, DIY, Hardware and Manufacturing sector and reach every corner of Ireland, including leading construction-industry suppliers such as CRH, Tegral, Wavin, Kingspan, Combilift, Celuplast, Dulux, Fleetwood, Kilsaran and Camfil.”

ICIM: So what are the benefits to building companies and suppliers of joining GI?

B O’C: “Firstly, there is the competitive advantage. Research shows 78% of consumers like to buy Irish. Businesses and State agencies recognise and trust the Guaranteed Irish symbol. It adds value to your service / product and assists the growth of sales. “Then there is the positive impact on marketing. You can use the Guaranteed Irish symbol as part of your marketing and communications activities to connect with other Guaranteed Irish members and your target audiences. There is the advantage of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) where you are recognised as a company that genuinely and substantively operates from Ireland and contributes positively to Irish society.”

ICIM: Interesting, what other benefits do you see?

B O’C: “Certainly there are advantages to be gained through GI’s reputation for contributing to Ireland’s international standing as a great place in which to do business. There is also National and International Exposure for member firms through participating in GI’s own marketing, PR and social media campaigns. It also helps to attract talent by demonstrating that you share Guaranteed Irish values around jobs, communities and provenance. “GI also provides serious networking opportunities allowing you to connect with our large membership network of homegrown and international businesses throughout the island of Ireland. In terms of Training and Research, you can also profit from our market research and annual calendar of training events. “GI members also benefit from our lobbying campaigns with government and overseas agencies on issues that matter to your business. As an organisation, we promote Irish Provenance with pride and signal your commitment to diversity and inclusion reflecting a modern and global Irish workplace.”

For a more extensive article see our September/October 2017 Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, email