NIALL McDonagh of Roofing & Rope Access Services cleans around the Town Hall clock in Tuam. Photo: Ray Ryan

Working around the clock

Niall’s ropes gives him access to stunning locations

TO SEE Niall McDonagh hanging off the clock tower at Tuam Town Hall, with only a rope between him and a significant drop, may put the heart crossways in some, but, as Niall explains, there is no safer place to be.

Indeed, the Barna native argues that it’s actually easier to fall off your chair sitting at a desk in an office than come away from the ropes that ensure his safety. Given he is fully certified and trained under the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA), we can take his word on that.

Niall has worked on some amazing buildings and breath-taking landscapes — more of that anon — and on this fine autumn day he is cleaning loose debris and vegetation around the clock on the tower in Tuam’s town centre. It requires focus, and a bit of elbow grease, but one suspects in a quieter moment he will have taken in the stunning view across the town, punctuated by the steeple of St Mary’s Cathedral in the distance.

He is in Tuam at the request of Galway County Council, and its facilities department headed up by Kevin Finn, who, Niall says, has embraced the work his company – Niall McDonagh Roofing & Rope Access Services – provides.

Although Niall has been in roofing and carpentry since 1999, four years ago he began to put more emphasis on the area of rope access, as no one else in the Republic of Ireland was doing it…

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