Frank McGrath elaborates in detail on the projects undertaken by HGLO’Connor Consulting Engineers and Architects during the 1970s and early 1980s. Projects included the Regional Water Supply Schemes and several schools and hospitals. In the early 1970s, O’Malley Construction Company became a new client, and as Engineers and Architects HGLO’Connor provided all their design requirements when they set up a housing construction business in Galway. Over the years some 3,000 houses were designed. The recession of the 1980s took a heavy toll on the business, resulting in many of the staff being made redundant. Frank McGrath explains that at this time he became involved with a company to purchase land in England for which they designed and built sheltered housing, while helping to keep the practice in Galway afloat. He would spend three weeks in England and three weeks in Ireland for a period of six years.
In the early 1990s, the economic climate in Ireland began to improve and several large projects were undertaken by the company, and in the late 1990s a small practice was established in Sligo. The names of the Directors of the company over the years are: Engineers – Frank McGrath, Jack Lee, John Durkin, Michael Martyn, Denis Maher, Mary McCann and Dermot Harte. Architects – Eileen O’Connor, Colm Keogh and Eugene Mulcaire. It was because of the loyalty and hard work of the Directors and Staff that the practice progressed over the years.
In 1998, Frank McGrath was appointed ACEI President which he says was A very rewarding position but also quite demanding, as he was based in Galway. He also served as Chairman of the Construction Industry Council of Ireland.
He retired in 2003 when the business was thriving and employing a staff of 50.