Hundreds of people turned out in glorious sunshine on Friday afternoon to watch Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor announce the creation of 50 new jobs at Kiernan Structural Steel Ltd in rural Killoe.
The Minister also cut the tape on Kiernan’s brand new state-of-the-art 43,000 sq ft extension to its steel facility, which brings the total factory footprint to almost 125,000 sq ft.
The new facility includes a 30,000 sq ft paint shop and a new high speed steel plate cutting and drilling line.
As part of the new paintshop, KSSL have added a one-of-a-kind in Ireland: a 3m x 1.8m post-fabrication Kaltenbach shot blaster which cleans the surfaces of steel members prior to the application of paint.
Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor was whole-hearted in her praise of Kiernan Structural Steel, describing it as “a wonderful success story”.
Noting that the business started in 1989 with just two people working in it, the Minister quoted Joe Kennedy, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” before going on to add: “ Well, Frank and Dolores, you got going.”
She described the new €3.5m facility as a great leap of faith by the Kiernans not only for their company but also for the county.
“As a mother I know how important it is to have opportunities for our young people to live and work in the regions,” she pointed out.
She was, she acknowledged, “a shiny new Minister,” but she said she was committed to job creation throughout the country, pointing out that the government planned to help create 14,000 new jobs in this region by 2020.
Acknowledging the skills deficit in some areas, she told Frank Kiernan that she was committed to “working with Richard Bruton in Education to make sure you have the students and the graduates with the skills you need.”
A total of 19 of the new jobs have been supported by Enterprise Ireland in direct manufacturing. The rest of the jobs will be filled by quantity surveyors and those working in draughtsmanship and installation. KSSL currently employs around 150 people and it is expected that the new jobs will be filled by the end of this summer.
In a short speech, Frank Kiernan told the audience that the new facility “put us in the top of the league in terms of high quality works, large projects, so we’re able to deliver jobs on budget and on programme so that’s very important.”
He also spoke of the importance of regional job creation.
“People exist outside the M50 so it’s good to hear Mary Mitchell O’Connor say that she will promote jobs in rural Ireland because rural Ireland will die if that doesn’t happen and we have to keep it going.”
After the formalities, family members conducted tours of the new facility for droves of people before the crowd retired to a nearby marquee for a beautiful meal and entertainment by well-known singer-songwriter John Spillane.