Sainsbury's, a signature project

The McGinnis name is synonymous with construction and farming originating from the townland of Dungullion in Greysteel which is nestled between Lough Foyle and the rolling hills of the Sperrins.

From humble beginnings, history depicts a hardworking and honest family, making ends meet, by farming the land and facing the tough challenges together.

It was the family background and upbringing where the grit and perseverance was instilled which is evident to this day as each generation passed on the virtues the McGinnis name stands for.

Growing up on the home farm in Gortgare, the inspiration to build was second nature to a young Patrick McGinnis and with the family values so important to his upbringing he carried them through life facing personal and business challenges head on.

It was in 1969, when only in his early 30s, Patrick left his job in DuPont and along with Tommy Mailey senior and junior, dug the foundations of his first house in Iveagh Park, Gortgare, which ultimately turned out to be the biggest ‘development’ of his life.

The determination to go out on his own was due to the inbuilt desire to fend for himself and his family. After the first house in Iveagh Park was built, there was no looking back, Newbuildings Primary School quickly followed and Patrick was firmly establishing a reputation for honesty, quality and consistency.

New developments followed throughout Derry and the north west and along with men he could rely on, such as the hard working Edward Allingham, Jim Brolly & Vincent Mailey, Patrick began to take the business to another level.

As the company progressed it was in 1989 when the name Braidwater was established after the Braidwater mill in Ballymena which was utilised for a construction project. The company’s first foray into Belfast was also in 1989 with a development called Hermitage Park which consisted of 20 homes in the Drumbeg area followed by Malone Meadows (1992 finished).

It was University of Ulster student accommodation next up with blocks in Coleraine, Derry and Jordanstown das well as Waterside House and the DOE office block.

A range of nursing homes took centre stage namely Greenhaw Lodge, Melmount Manor, Templemoyle and St Gile’s in Liverpool along with Culmore Manor Nursing Home, which was built in a record 16 weeks, even though it was a masonry project. Other projects in Liverpool included the development of the Cinnamon building and the 104 bedroom Travel Lodge.

Sainsbury’s, one of the signature projects from throughout the 4 decades of the company’s existence

Other signature developments in Derry included Sainsburys and the revitalisation of the quay walkway adjacent to the Strand Road from Sainsburys to the Council offices and Quayside Shopping Complex including the 7 screen cinema & multi storey car park.

With a range of developments and portfolio of work established, further growth combined with sound business planning allowed Braidwater to restructure, rebrand and revitalise its approach to the land bank portfolio, staffing numbers and output.

In the late 1990s Braidwater along with Farrans and Graham Construction combined forces in a Private Finance Initiative called Northwin Consortium to deliver on several signature projects including Balmoral High School, Belfast Institute of Further and Higher education, North West Institute of Further and Higher Education and Wellington College.

The business has evolved over time into one of the leading house builders in Ireland and hasn’t forgotten its origins and family values so important to the McGinnis name.

With the values and ethos Patrick was brought up on clearly evident throughout the business and workforce, the company created all those years ago is now reaping the benefits of the solid foundations it was built on.

Today, the Braidwater Group is one of Northern Ireland’s leading house builders, with close to 100 staff, having won a raft of awards and with major private and social housing developments located throughout Northern Ireland.

Under the Group umbrella, Braidwater Homes is one of Northern Ireland’s leading private house builders and BW Social Affordable Housing oversees the construction and delivery of social homes throughout Northern Ireland.