Gerry Grant was born into a large family in Upperchurch, Drombane in Co. Tipperary in 1953. He initially discusses his education, and his qualification, following a scholarship award, with a First Class Honours degree in Civil Engineering from UCD in 1974.
His first employment was with R.M. Douglas Contractors, where for nine months he worked on the M42 motorway in England. In 1975 his employment began in Cork with M.C.O’Sullivan Consulting Engineers; he worked on the site of the Glashaboy Water Treatment Plant in Glanmire. The next big project on which he worked was the Cork Harbour and City Water Supply Scheme which was a major far-seeing investment in water supply in the region, backed by Michael Conlon, then Cork County Manager.
Having spent twelve years in Cork, he moved to Dublin in 1986 to work in a new branch of the firm with Michael C O’Sullivan’s son Kerry and P.J. Rudden. He explains that he was in charge of the water business, P.J. Rudden led the environmental, water management and gas business and Kerry O’Sullivan ran the roads business and was MD of the firm. In 1993 Jerry Grant was appointed a Director of the company.
He provides historical background to the management of the water supply and sewage systems to the city of Dublin down through the years. He discusses the obstacles faced by the company in delivering projects in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including regulations, limited strategical planning, politics and funding constraints.
In 1994 a commission was won by M.C. O’Sullivan which involved working with a French company named Generale des Eaux (later Veolia). This commission entailed producing the Dublin Region Water Supply Strategic Study, identifying medium and long term plans for water services for the city region, including taking water from the Shannon River as a necessary long term requirement.
In the late 1990s, M.C. O’Sullivan was in the forefront of infrastructural development in Ireland. But the company by then needed to change to handle the scale of work in hand. In 2002 RPS Group Ireland Plc purchased the company and Jerry was appointed Managing Director in October of that year, a position he held until his retirement from the firm ten years later.
From 2000 to 2012 he had played a major role at the heart of the infrastructure transformation which was then in train, including the national motorway programme which was spearheaded by NRA with RPS delivering many of the larger projects.
In 2013 Irish Water was established and the reasons for its establishment are outlined. On his retirement from RPS, Jerry had worked as a Consultant on the setup. From April 2013 to February 2016 Jerry Grant was Head of Asset Management at Irish Water, setting up that function from scratch.
In early 2016 he was appointed Managing Director, at a crucial stage in the business establishment, a position he held until his retirement in September 2018.