As Laois Hire celebrates 30 years in business, we look back at the company’s journey over the last three decades, as well as some of the latest developments at the firm.

One of Ireland’s biggest and best-known hire companies is turning 30 this year. Laois Hire was started by Michael and Maureen Killeen back in 1992 in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Rapid growth has ensued, and they have built a very successful business with solid and loyal customers, an experienced team of staff and a nationwide brand with nine different divisions.

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These divisions are Variable Messaging Signs (VMS), Traffic Management, Pumping, Future Events, Plant & tool, Power Generation, Powered Access, Renewables and Accommodation Solutions.

A large percentage of the staff are still with Laois Hire from the early years. The company have continuously expanded their fleet of equipment and now supply some of the biggest construction firms in Ireland. Back in 2001, a second depot was opened in Portarlington, expanding Laois Hire’s reach into Offaly. This was followed by further expansion in 2004, when the firm noticed a demand for plant and tool hire in Kildare, and opened a branch in Athy.

Managing Director Michael Killeen with Rugby Star CJ Stander

In 2006 Laois Hire joined with HSS Hire Services Group which propelled them right throughout the 32 counties. As demand rose for their services, they expanded into the Dublin area, opening up a new Dublin-based branch which serviced the entire region. They now have a major Dublin operation based out of Greenogue Industrial Estate in Rathcoole, and Dublin is one of the company’s biggest markets.

Continued growth

Laois had the opportunity to supply gear including diggers, dumpers, compressors, rollers, and powered access to the building works for the 2012 London Olympics. They opened a depot in Beckton, London for this purpose.

In 2015, HSS was floated on the stock exchange, and Laois Hire became part of a PLC company. Going from an initial family-run business to being quoted on the London stock exchange was a huge achievement for the Laois hire company as a whole. They continued growing at a fast pace and the next chapter in the Laois Hire story began in April 2021, when the company successfully joined Briggs Equipment Group.

Michael Killeen, Managing Director of Laois Hire Group commented “This move has opened an opportunity for further aggressive expansion and has already seen massive investment in new plant and tools. Briggs are a €350m business with operations throughout the UK and Ireland. They are part of Sammons Corporation, an American company with assets in excess of $100bn. Laois Hire won’t be stopping their expansion any time soon, with plans in place to open more locations in the near future.”

Major projects

As a major supplier of equipment, Laois Hire is involved in large-scale projects in the areas of housing, data centres, pharmaceutical, civil engineering, computer chip manufacturing, utilities, renewable energy, hospitals and schools. Some of the biggest jobs going on in Ireland today are being carried out with the help of Laois equipment, such as the National Children’s Hospital.

The Renewables Division is also very busy, from the north to the south of the country. It supplies full site setup from site offices and cabins, fuel and drinking water to generators, teleporters, and powered access.

Fast-growing fleet

Laois Hire are continually upgrading their expansive rental fleet with the newest and best equipment. Over the course of this May and June alone, well over 100 items were added to their lineup of plant.

There is a distinct emphasis on eco machines including 1.9-tonne electric JCBs and Selwood S160eco pumps in their recent investments.

Laois online

It is now possible to purchase equipment through the website laoishire.com. Users can choose between click and collect or delivery with products available in categories such as concrete and surface work, lighting, fencing and sitework, cleaning, forest and gardening, surveying, sawing, breaking and drilling. These include power washers, carpet cleaners, drills, wallpaper strippers and garden maintenance equipment.

Laois Hire plan to continue to add to the range of equipment available and create a full catalogue of items online, and to also invest in further digitalisation of their service offerings. Laois Hire have established a reputation for high quality of service over their 30 years in business and are looking forward to the challenge of transferring their excellent brand reputation to an online platform.

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