GRA Networks Ireland offer infrastructure contracting services on a design and construct basis in the transport, telecommunications, utility and energy sectors, providing cost-effective solutions to complex problems.
Owners Ivan Holloway and Marco Lombardelli are delighted to announce that Stephen O’Brien has been appointed Managing Director of their Irish businesses. Stephen, who joined Global Rail Services Limited and GRA Networks Ireland as General Manager and Director of Telecoms respectively, has overseen a period of outstanding growth.
This is even more impressive, as much of his tenure to date has been following the aftermath of a global pandemic, where his resilience, dedication and innovative approaches have enhanced the businesses and delivered fantastic results, with the help and support of his Senior Leadership and the wider team in Ireland. The companies are highly regarded by clients as respected rail and infrastructure and telecoms contracting entities.
Stephen has three decades of experience in the management and delivery of projects for the construction and professional services industries, previously holding senior management positions at Morrison Telecom Services and Obelisk. With an MBA and degrees in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin and UCD respectively, Stephen is a professionally affiliated leader, holding memberships of both the Irish Management Institute (MIMI) and the Institute of Engineers of Ireland (MIEI).
Stephen commented on this news, saying:
“I’m proud to have become the Managing Director of both Global Rail Services Limited and GRA Networks Ireland and will continue to do my best to ensure the businesses remain successful, innovative, and great places to work. I am also grateful to my entire team in Ireland for their support. Your skills, wisdom, and experience has been a vital ingredient to our successes.”
Ivan Holloway, Part Owner of the Global Infrastructure Group of Companies added:
“I’m delighted that Stephen will be taking on the role of MD for our Irish businesses. He’s done a fantastic job of improving performance of the businesses and has proven to be an excellent leader. We’ve found the ideal person to take our interests forward and support the long-term objectives of the shareholders.”
GRA Networks Ireland as a multi-disciplined provider of telecoms contracting services including design, construction, installation, commissioning and maintenance of both fixed line and mobile communications networks has successfully completed its latest telecoms contract with Irish Rail.
The 4-year Mast and Tower Services program for Iarnrod Eireann included the provision of maintenance services for 140No radio and 140No CCTV masts and towers including climbable, cantilever and fixed masts and towers on their rail infrastructure.
GRA Networks provided a fully managed service completing all necessary site surveys, providing certification, structural wind analysis, providing full photographic records, labelling of assets, and supplying supporting handover documentation for the maintenance of Irish Rail’s Asset Management System.
The detailed scope of works on the masts and towers covered emergency callout rigging support throughout and included:
GRA Networks Ireland’s team of highly skilled telecommunications professionals includes project managers, telecommunications engineers, telecommunications riggers, fibre splicers, electricians, and technicians. The range of services on offer include:
GRA Networks Ireland has completed a series of tower remedial works at the Rosslare Europort Terminal for Irish Rail.
GRA Networks Ireland were initially engaged to survey five existing towers at the terminal. Surveys and climbdowns were carried out to determine the general condition of each tower and to identify remedial works that should be undertaken to preserve the longevity of each tower.
During the survey, towers 2 and 5 were found to have excessive corrosion and would likely require a major intervention, or be replaced with new tower structures.
Towers 1, 3 and 4 were found to have medium levels of corrosion, however would require bolt replacement, descaling, painting and earthing.
GRA Networks Ireland used Jotamastic 90 as the paint coating, specially designed for areas where optimum surface preparation is not possible. The paint provides long lasting protection in environments with high corrosivity such as Rosslare Europort with a high level of exposure to weather conditions and the proximity of the towers to the sea.
The remedial works to towers 1, 3 and 5 were successfully completed and delivered to meet the outcomes of Irish Rail and the Rosslare Europort Terminal.
GRA Networks is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a four-year, multi-million euro contract with Iarnrod Eireann for the provision of maintenance services for approximately 204No radio masts, monopoles, and towers and 200No CCTV masts and towers including climbable, cantilever and fixed on the Irish Rail Network.
The program also includes the rigging and cabling services to install GSM-R antennas and equipment on new towers and monopoles on the rail network.
Irish Rail were impressed with GRA Networks Ireland, considering that the company demonstrated a full understanding of the duties and procedures of a contractor working rail side and who could combine an end-to-end service for the SE&T department.
GRA Networks Ireland has a previous track record of delivering competitive rigging maintenance services for Irish Rail and has also delivered extensive civil engineering and M&E projects for the Chief Engineers office.
The team at GRA Networks Ireland also offer a dedicated, in-house structural engineering team and to support the understanding and subsequent analysis of the towers and masts that underpinned 3rd party mobile and wireless broadband rollout programs on Irish Rail network.
GRA Networks will provide a fully project managed service including health and safety management covering the following items of work:
GRA Networks Ireland has completed abseiling contracts for three clients – namely Iarnrod Eireann, Imagine Networks and Vodafone. The company uses IRATA trained operatives to deliver this work.
Iarnrod Eireann – Drogheda Viaduct
Iarnrod Eireann required abseilers to install LED systems on Drogheda Viaduct. GRA Networks Ireland completed these works at night with a River Rescue boat in place for emergency recovery. Heavy LED lights were installed below the bridge which could only be done using an abseiling technique with the use of ropes. GRA then completed a second visit to replace faulty lights with the same scenario for a rescue boat. Faulty lights removed and hauled up to the top of bridge. New light lowered and installed. All works done at night.
Iarnrod Eireann – Drogheda Viaduct
GRA Networks supplied abseilers to complete the successful installation of a new lighting system on Athlone Railway Bridge for Irish Rail. Structural steel on the bridge was assessed for suitability prior to carrying out the works on a live railway during night-time hours under track possession. GRA Networks Ireland liaised closely with Irish Rail and Waterways Ireland to complete the works. A rescue boat was in place on the River Shannon for the duration of the works.
Vodafone Ireland – Minch Norton
Vodafone contracted the GRA Networks Ireland team to install Antennaes and RRU’s at the Minch Norton grain silo site. GRA were required to rig and abseil off the side of a grain silo building to install Vodafone antennas and RRU.
To accomplish this, GRA Networks installed stand-off steelwork on the side of building and created a safe work/drop zone below all works areas to ensure the wellbeing of staff and satisfactory completion.
Imagine Networks – Royal Hotel Bray
Imagine Networks engaged the GRA team in Ireland for the decommissioning of an antenna, RRU and cabling from the side of the Royal Bray Hotel building. A secure drop zone was initially erected below the area of the hotel. The area was very busy, so pedestrians were re-routed during the works. All works completed safely and efficiently and with minimal disruption to hotel.
Imagine Networks – RTE Donnybrook
Imagine required GRA Networks Ireland’s abseiling team to decommission and remove all antennas, cable management and cables from the Donnybrook Tower. All Imagine equipment was located 60 meters from ground level. GRA Networks set up the site and delivered an abseil solution that met the requirements without incident or accident and to meet the desired program.
GRA Networks Ireland deliver abseiling projects across a diverse range of industries. We offer a safe, secure, and competitive service, with a commitment to technical excellence and our worldwide reputation in telecoms contracting, we can work with clients to develop bespoke rope solutions that meet every requirement.
GRA Networks Ireland has been awarded and successfully completed a 3-year, major 4G rollout project for Imagine Telecom between 2018 and 2021.
This multi-million euro, fully managed project involves the 4G upgrade of equipment on new and existing sites throughout the 26 counties in Ireland. GRA Networks were contracted to deliver a managed service including initial site condition surveys and reporting, providing all necessary materials and logistics management and QA audit and handover at each location.
The project required telecoms rigging (copper feeders and Fibre/RRU solutions), maintenance and remedial works, Installation, commissioning, and integration. During the project GRA Networks Ireland provided a 24/7 emergency response service. The full scope included:
• 4G equipment installation, commissioning, and integration
• Transmission microwave links installation and commissioning
• Earthing systems & feeder installation and testing
• Copper/fibre/coaxial networks
• SDH backbone – installation and upgrade
• Tower construction, retro fit, maintenance, and inspection
• Cabinet installations
• In conduit installation
• Operations and maintenance services
• Fibre Transmission Services
GRA Networks Ireland has successfully completed climbdowns and maintenance on several Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) telecoms structures in January 2022.
The works undertaken cover maintenance and repairs on IAA site compounds incorporating site activities including weeding, painting, fence repairs, building repairs and resolving access issues.
As the sites were near airports and aircraft, GRA Networks Ireland’s experienced team completed the necessary site access forms and method statements for IAA’s approval. Access and supervision were then arranged by IAA – the supervision required due to the dangers imposed by the working environment.
These fully managed sites included the following delivery activities by GRA Networks Ireland:
• Project and health and safety management
• Maintenance and repairs
• Earthing and lightning protection system installation and testing
• Certification of equipment on the tower
• Inspection and climbdown including torque tests
• Reporting any installation issues/snags
• Site maintenance completion documents
• Site compound maintenance and repair
GRA Networks Ireland has completed a telecoms tower build on behalf of the Irish Aviation Authority, Shannon. The fully managed, site build covered all necessary groundworks, foundations and included design and build of the twin timber stayed poles and an VHF antennae installation and commissioning.
The project required GRA Networks to undertake the initial condition surveying and reporting, provide materials management and logistics services and undertake a full QA audit and handover. The full scope included:
In these extremely challenging times, both Ivan and I would like to share our heartfelt support and solidarity with you and your families. At Global, the health and safety of our worldwide colleagues, customers, partners and the communities in which we serve is our number one priority. We have a legacy of responsible business and we are committed to doing all that we can to keep everyone safe and healthy, every day.
We are extremely proud of and grateful to all our committed teams who deliver every day to ensure business continuity. We have been taking strict precautions to protect them and their families, while maintaining customer service. Many of our rail, telecoms and construction works and of course our 24/7 emergency crews are essential, as we play an important part in maintaining and enhancing critical infrastructure. As a result, we have made extensive contingency plans to secure our supply chain and ongoing business. We are following the advice of all governments and public health authorities, and have proactively implemented a range of precautionary measures, from stringent sanitation and cleaning protocols, to workplace distancing, and a worldwide travel ban, by putting our people first.
Team GIG, thank you for your continued endeavour and trust and please do stay safe.
Marco and Ivan
Our Irish and UK businesses have successfully completed re-certification audits of their respective company Health, Safety and Quality Management systems.
Both Global Rail Services Limited (Ireland) and Global Rail Construction Limited (UK) included a challenging migration audit from OHSAS 18001 to the new Occupational Health and Safety Standard ISO 45001:2018.
Global Rail Services also successfully completed an audit of their ISO 9001:2015, which provides continuation of their ISO 9001 certification.
The Irish audits also covers the projects of GRA Networks Ireland – our Irish Telecoms Division.
Both UK and Irish businesses received no non-compliances – a fantastic achievement.
Our Global Family in Australia – Global Rail Australia Pty Limited and GRA Networks Australia – are just commencing the same migration process and we hope to report their progression very soon.
Co-Owner Marco Lombardelli added:
“Thanks to everyone involved for your continued support of our countrywide management systems, and a special mention to those of you who were directly involved in the audits conducted at our sites and respective Hatfield and Dublin offices.
“Your efforts are appreciated – keep up the good work.”
GRA Networks Ireland, is pleased to present another new addition to its fleet – a brand new crew vehicle for its Telecoms division operations. The team at GRA Networks Ireland are very busy at present, delivering a number of contracts throughout Ireland – so this latest crew-bus is another very welcome addition. GRA Networks Ireland is currently recruiting for Wireless Riggers in support of its current extensive workload, supporting both private and public sector clients on high profile projects covering telecommunications, transportation, construction and engineering, energy and power.
GRA Networks Ireland is a multi-disciplined provider offering a comprehensive suite of services including design, construction, installation, commissioning and maintenance of both fixed line and mobile communications networks.
As a full-service telecommunications contractor, GRA Networks Ireland provides a comprehensive range of services from upgrading existing infrastructure, to building new mobile phone towers and other wireless network infrastructure.
Apply for our telecom’s vacancies here:
GRA Networks global operation is led by a group of dedicated industry professionals in both Ireland and Australia, who bring together a wide range of skills and experience that provide clients with the best possible solution.
We are proud to announce news of a long-term framework that has just been awarded to GRA Networks Ireland, in respect of ESB Telecoms Tower Build’s and Maintenance Services Programme. The works will be on behalf of ESB Telecoms Ltd (ESBT), who were established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of ESB Group, and are Ireland’s leading independent telecoms infrastructure and bandwidth solutions provider.
ESB (Electricity Supply Board) itself was founded in 1927 as a statutory corporation in the Republic of Ireland, and is currently 95% owned by the State. It is a vertically integrated utility, generating and delivering electricity to customers all over the Republic. ESB Group employs approximately 7,150 people.
GRA Networks Ireland was formed in 2011 as a result of an opportunity to supply a more comprehensive and effective delivery model in respect of Wireless Telecoms Services to Main Telecom Providers.
Since its inception, GRA Networks Ireland has secured significant packages of work based on its expertise in various disciplines and by providing flexible management and skilled resources on a project-by-project basis.
As a result, the company has successfully completed projects for a variety of clients ranging from state bodies and local authorities to major infrastructure organisations and network providers.
In addition, GRA Networks Ireland has worked as a supplier on various high profile projects in partnership with some of the most respected names in the telecoms, rail, construction and energy sectors.
This contract includes:
Global Rail Services has been awarded an exciting new contract on behalf of the Irish Aviation Authority for the design, supply and installation of an Antennae Mast together with all associated building works and site development works at their facility in Rosslare, Co. Wexford.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a commercial semi-state company employing approximately 650 people at six locations around Ireland. The IAA has three main functions: the provision of air traffic management and related services in Irish controlled airspace, the safety regulation of the civil aviation industry in Ireland and the oversight of civil aviation security in Ireland.
Global Rail Services will be working with their specialist subsidiary GRA Networks to deliver these works. GRA Networks is a full service telecommunications contractor and provides a comprehensive range of services from upgrading existing infrastructure, to building new mobile phone towers and other wireless network infrastructure.
Tom Staunton, General Manager of Global Rail Services, commented on this award and said:
“Global Rail Services has a strong pedigree in the design and build of Antennae Masts throughout Ireland. Our experience working in highly regulated industries such as rail and transport infrastructure provides our clients with the necessary confidence to place contracts of this complexity with us.
“Global Rail Services and our subsidiary GRA Networks are delivering on our promises throughout Ireland, including current mast installation contracts on behalf of Irish Rail.
“We look forward to delivering another successful project, this time on behalf of our client IAA.”
Global Rail Services is part of the Global Infrastructure Group of companies, who are an internationally focussed; leading specialist organisation, delivering civil engineering, signalling, telecoms, mechanical and electrical design and build solutions within a number of core industries.
We are pleased to announce the successful installation of a 40m monopole at the Broombridge radio site, as part of our ongoing signalling, electricial and telecommunications works for the LUAS’s BXD project on behalf of Efacec Portugal.
Luas Cross City is a new 5.6km light rail line that will run from Dublin city centre to Broombridge in the North West of the City.
The main purpose of the new Radio Transmission system is to provide radio voice and data communication services that will extend the existing Motorola Dimetra IP TETRA network in order to provide coverage to the new LUAS BXD Line.
The specific scope, at Broombridge Depot, covered the installation of a new MTS Base Station and a 40m monopole to support the antennas of the MTS.
The combined talent of Global Rail Services and GRA Networks Ireland – a division specifically formed to supply a more comprehensive delivery model in respect of Wireless Telecoms Services for major telecommunications projects and providers – fully managed the logistics in respect of the monopole components and carefully assembled them ready for the installation.
The monopole works were completed on time and to the satisfaction of Efacec. The full LUAS project is due for completion at the end of the year.
Tom Staunton, Global Rail Services General Manager, commented on this latest project milestone saying:
“Our partnership with Efacec continues to go from strength to strength. It is Global Rail Services ability to provide a fully managed and integrated service with our telecom division GRA Networks Ireland that really sets us apart. We look forward to further project milestones being achieved over the coming year”.
Global Rail Services is a rail infrastructure contractor operating on both mainline and light rail systems, with in-house capabilities across Civil Engineering, M&E, Building and Permanent Way. They offer a fully managed and cohesive service for their clients.
GRA Networks Ireland is a leading provider of services to clients in the transportation, telecommunications, utilities and energy markets, providing either sector specific services or a fully managed turnkey solution. They specialise in the design, installation, commissioning and testing of critical infrastructure in Ireland and also has an operation in Melbourne – GRA Networks Australia.
GRA Networks Ireland is a telecommunications specialist based in Dublin and is pleased to annouce the successful completion of our antenna installation work on behalf of Newstalk Radio.
The station which brings an exclusive talk based format sharing the best in opinions, analysis, entertainment and sport, had previously shared its transmission with Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster RTE, however, approached GRA Networks Ireland to create an independent operation.
The scope of works involved the installation of Skymast S.4Y Yagi antennas and the running of EC400 10mm Coax cable from each antenna to comms rooms across eleven separate sites throughout Ireland – from Achill Island to Holywell Hill, Donegal – all within a two week deadline.
Due to the tight timeframe and the need to provide seamless integration from the old to the new to maintain a fully operational radio news service, GRA Networks Ireland collaborated closely with Newstalk, who accompanied GRA Networks Ireland each day, to ensure the swap over from the old system to the new system was undertaken with minimal impact to them.
Newstalk were very complimentary with regard to the progress and work practice that GRA Networks Ireland’s crew displayed and sent their thanks to the team for completing the project on time.
The works required maticulous planning and project management both on and off site and General Manager, Tom Staunton said:
“We are very pleased to have completed these works successfully.
“This was a challenging programme, however, our teams worked seemlessly with the clients intergration team to create the required solution.”
GRA Networks Ireland has announced its appointment as the preferred supplier of construction services for Kona, on behalf of the Irish Defence Forces.
GRA Networks Ireland was appointed to install a new mast at Renmore Barracks, Galway, after the previous 65m lattice mast failed its structural analysis test. Kona won the tender for the decommission of this tower, appointing GRA Networks Ireland to assemble and install the new 65-metre tower, with works including:
GRA Networks Ireland is a multi-disciplined provider offering a comprehensive suite of services including design, construction, installation, commissioning and maintenance of both fixed line and mobile communications networks.
As a full service telecommunications contractor, GRA Networks Ireland provides a comprehensive range of services from upgrading existing infrastructure, to building new mobile phone towers and other wireless network infrastructure.
GRA Networks Ireland has completed the installation of a meteorological mast at a wind farm in Tievenameenta, County Tyrone.
The wind farm was built by civils contractor Roadbridge in 2015. Following its construction, a 65-metre mast was required on site. GRA Networks Ireland was appointed for this project by Kona, having been contracted for a similar project for the Irish Defence Forces, at a site in Galway. Works at Tievenameenta included:
GRA Networks Ireland is completing a project to reroute traffic and decommission transmission links for mobile communications company, 3.
In 2015, 3 failed to regain planning permission for the SDH monopole in Glasnevin, Dublin, after the local authority called for its immediate decommissioning. An Bord Pleanála, the independent statutory body, ordered that 3 remove the phone mast, despite warnings that it would cause major service disruptions for customers in Dublin, Louth and Meath.
The 45-metre mast in the Dublin Industrial Estate facilitates mobile phone coverage and 2G, 3G and 4G internet services for 3 and Meteor customers in the area and farther afield. Local residents wanted the structure removed due to its “visually obtrusive” nature – a decision which An Bord Pleanála upheld.
Glasnevin is a very important area for 3, serving a key section of North Dublin and carrying a lot of traffic via microwave dishes and fibre. GRA Networks was contracted by the mobile communications giant to complete a package of works to re-route links on Site 34 and decommission links on the tower. This includes included carrying out line of sight surveys, interconnects, and the patching and rerouting of traffic at several sites around Dublin.
So far, the following works have been completed:
Lough Rynn Castle is one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels, set on the shore of Lough Rynn, surrounded by over 300 acres of breath-taking scenery. Trip Advisor reviews boast of it being a ‘hidden gem’ but the only drawback for guests to this majestic hotel was the lack of Wi-Fi and mobile phone coverage.
The black spot was targeted by Vodafone and Netshare Ireland and the work, which was awarded to GRA Networks, was executed promptly, efficiently and very discreetly so as not to cause disruption to any of the staying guests.
General Management of the hotel expressed their delight to Netshare Ireland regarding the efficiency of the GRA Networks team and have noticed a significant improvement in their coverage. Off the back of this significant improvement, Netshare Ireland are using the Lough Rynn project success as an example to other hotels in remote locations around Ireland.
Irish Rail as part of their rail network communications upgrade works, have awarded GRA Networks Ireland works as part of the 2-3 year phased roll out of GSM-R – which is the international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications.
The system, which is used for communication between the train and railway regulation control centres, requires GRA Networks Ireland to install a series of Relocatable Equipment Buildings (REB) and telecoms towers.
The system on installation, will guarantee Irish Rail performance speeds at 310mph, without any communication loss and the system can transmit both data and voice.
Working to a phased completion program, GRA Networks Ireland has completed sites at Jonesborough, Limerick, Gormanston and Rush and Lusk and their multi-faceted team are providing to be a safe, secure and collaborative working partner.
Phase 2 has now commenced, as GRA Networks Ireland look to continue to reach the heights expected – by delivering works on time and to the required budget.