ECA Ireland celebrates 100th anniversary

Anniversary dinner looks back on a century of raising industry standards

The Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) has celebrated the organisation’s 100-year anniversary in Ireland. The anniversary dinner at Christchurch Crypt in Dublin was sponsored by Kellihers and included representatives of ECA member companies, members of the Belfast ECA branch, past ECA Ireland Presidents, and those representing partner organisations.

Tim Ferris, ECA Ireland President, said, “The ECA in Ireland, as it stands, has 33 different member companies. That number has fallen and risen as the economy has developed over the last 100 years, while member size companies have fallen and risen also.

“We have always been an organisation that has served smaller, family owned enterprises, as well as larger companies; and companies that have an international footprint. In fact, a number of companies in this room are currently working on projects right across the EMEA.”

Tim outlined how, since the ECA was established in Dublin by A.G. Bruty, all Presidents have worked tirelessly to raise industry standards, regulations and improved working conditions. This has included involvement in RECI, ETCI, NSAI, along with trade unions though the ENJIC and with the wider construction sector through the CIF.

“But perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the association, along with its sister organisation, MEBSCA, is the development of apprenticeships and the maintenance of direct employment in the sector,” added Tim. “There are 1,700 new registrants for apprenticeships this year, which means 1,700 new young people in the industry; and I think that is a fantastic achievement for companies that are putting so many people on the path to a solid career.”

Tim, who is a Director at O’Shea’s Electrical, also spoke about the different the ECA makes to individual companies.

“The Association, to me, is very important for our company, as it gives me the opportunity to establish a network of like-minded companies and gives me a chance to talk to people and break down the barriers.

“Sometimes we think that other people are approaching things differently to us, but we come to understand that every company has the same types of issues. They have the same employment issues, the same contractual issues, they have the same challenges in trying to meet the terms of a contract, particularly new developments, such as BIM and Lean Construction.

“Everyone meets the same challenges, perhaps at a different pace, but having this network is a huge asset, to help us understand different issues across the sub- sectors, and right across the country, where our members are based.

“Collectively, we can engage as a much stronger stakeholder to influence policy, both within the CIF and also within external stakeholders such as RECI, NSAI and the GCCC.”