All staff lose jobs as Northern Ireland metalwork specialist goes to the wall

The just-appointed administrator for structural and architectural metalwork business McGrath Brothers Engineering Group has confirmed that all staff have lost their jobs.

The Northern Ireland-based firm - which worked on projects including the Media Centre at Lords Cricket Ground, the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, and the redevelopment of the capital’s Blackfriars Station – announced last week that it had sought to go into administration.

David McClean, of accountancy firm Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, was today appointed administrator for the company and said all staff had been made redundant.

The company is thought to have employed around 170 staff, all but 20 of them at its main fabrication base in Lisburn. The other employees were based at sites in England.

A statement issued by McClean said directors at McGrath had taken the decision to appoint an administrator because they had been unable to overcome cashflow issues resulting from “difficult trading conditions”.

“The business has effectively ceased to trade and all employees have been made redundant,” the statement said.

“We are exploring all options to maximise the value in the company’s assets for the benefit of creditors.”

On Friday, joint managing director Brian McGrath expressed the hope that as many jobs as possible would be saved once administrators for the business were appointed.

“Trading conditions in the manufacturing and construction sectors have had a severe impact on our 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.”

Current administrator McClean acted as administrator for the firm during a spell of financial difficulty in 2011.