Kirby – Delivering value for 60 years and beyond

2024 is a landmark year for Kirby Group Engineering. It marks 60 years since Tom and Michael Kirby established an electrical contracting business at Thomondgate in Limerick. Since then, the small enterprise has grown far larger than the brothers could have imagined, into a leading mechanical and electrical engineering contractor with bases across Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa.

The company, which now has its headquarters in Raheen Business Park, is known for providing first class service to valued customers in the Life Sciences, Data Centres, Industrial, and Power and Renewables sectors. CEO designate Henry McCann says they work hard to maintain relationships with their clients: “Our teams are always prepared to go the extra mile. We always put safety first and we are proud of the quality of the projects we deliver.”

From the beginning as an enterprise with only two people, to the present day as an organisation with a headcount of more than 1500 people, Kirby’s leadership has built a rich and diverse workforce, with colleagues from more than 40 countries right around the world.

It’s been quite an evolution for the team. Here are some of the milestones Kirby has reached over those 60 years:

  • 1964: Kirby established in Thomondgate
  • 1990: Kirby goes national with the opening of its Dublin office
  • 2008: London becomes the location for Kirby’s first overseas office
  • 2012: Kirby completes its largest project to date, worth €46 million.
  • 2015: The company arrives in the Nordics to work on large-scale data centre projects
  • 2021: Turnover at Kirby reaches €400 million as it operates across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe
  • 2023: Amid a period of significant growth, Kirby’s turnover surpasses €630 million, its workforce exceeds 1,500 employees and the company unveils its first base outside Europe, in the South African city of Cape Town


At the centre of Kirby are its five core values: People, Safety, Quality, Delivery and Value. These form the basis of the company culture and are at the heart of everything it does.

The company has built a reputation for valuing its people and investing in their development. This is demonstrated through the proven career development systems in place at Kirby and through the number of colleagues who have risen through the ranks to become senior leaders – many of whom began their journey as a Kirby apprentice. As CEO Mark Flanagan says: “Our people have been the foundation of our success. We have worked to combine great talent, a dedication to delivering for clients and the ambition to learn and to lead across the board. Kirby at 60 is a company that has learned as it has grown and has established a structure that means it’s ideally placed to continue to lead its industry into the future”.

Jimmy Kirby, Tom’s son and Michael’s nephew is now the company’s Executive Chairman. “The principles that my father and uncle brought to their business still apply today and I’m truly proud that our culture based on integrity, trust and collaboration defines us after six decades and will do for many more to come”.

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Michael Kirby, Jimmy Kirby, Tom Kirby, Henry McCann and Mark Flanagan during a recent visit to Kirby Group Engineering's original store in Thomondgate, Limerick.
Michael Kirby, Jimmy Kirby, Tom Kirby, Henry McCann and Mark Flanagan during a recent visit to Kirby Group Engineering's original store in Thomondgate, Limerick.
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