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Construction activity on the up in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne

The recovery in Ireland's once moribund construction sector is being felt across the Republic, a new report from the Building Information Index highlighted this week.

This showed that nearly €3bn worth of new construction projects were started in the first six months of this year. That is an increase of 41 per cent on the same period last year, when only €1.9bn worth of projects began.

However, while the figures represent a sharp increase, they are coming from a very low base.

Building Information Ireland managing director Danny O'Shea said the report "shows that the recovery in the construction sector is being felt across the whole of Ireland.

"Munster recorded the largest increase with gains of 116 per cent while Dublin (34 per cent), Leinster (27 per cent) and Connacht/Ulster (8 per cent) also performed strongly," he said.

Building was spread across two main sectors.

About €1.4bn of projects that were begun were related to the housing market - an increase of 44 per cent year on year.

Commercial and retail projects worth just over €600m were begun between January and June. That was up more than 140 per cent compared to this time in 2014.

Planning applications for building work worth €7bn were made in the first half of the year. That compares to applications valued at €5.5bn previously.