A LIMERICK engineering firm has won a top national award.
Punch Consulting Engineers, based in the city, secured the honour of Engineering Project of the Year in an online vote for the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.
The city based engineering firm, which has offices in Dublin, Cork and Saudi Arabia and employ more than 60 people, received the award for its role as lead consultant on the Cill Rónáin Harbour, on Inis Mór island, Co Galway.
The award winning €39 million project staved off considerable high-profile competition from other projects throughout Ireland, including the Etihad Skyline at Croke Park Stadium, the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, and the much heralded and newly-opened Titanic Building in Belfast.
The award is recognised as the showcase for quality engineering projects nationally.
Speaking at the awards ceremony in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin, John Power of Engineers Ireland, congratulated the Limerick firm and said “the Cill Rónáin construction is now an essential support to the island’s community”.
The completed project, which was over ten years in development since its conception, consists of a 550m long breakwater constructed from over 77,000 tonnes of natural Connemara stone now provides a protected harbour, with an enclosed marine working area twice the size of Croke Park.
Punch project director Joe Murphy said the project had already created huge economic and social value for the residents of the largest of the three Aran Islands.
“The new harbour’s benefits are wide-ranging and absolute to the local community,” explained Mr Murphy.
“It improves safety for residents, it supports tourist traffic to an island rich in cultural heritage, and it makes life easier for fishermen who have businesses and families locally, and who previously often had to berth on the mainland.”
Significant rock blasting and dredging were undertaken at the site, which can now provide for split cargo and pedestrian traffic to separate pier facilities and deepwater fishing quays.
Punch has previously worked on other notable projects including Thomond Park, the Strand and Clarion Hotels.