Ardboe base for firm that laid World Cup final pitch

Darren McGeehan and Mark Barry, who are leading the new SIS Pitches team in Ireland
Darren McGeehan and Mark Barry, who are leading the new SIS Pitches team in Ireland

Irish-owned SIS Pitches, which counts Real Madrid and FC Barcelona among its clients, is to create its first ever base at Ardboe.

SIS Pitches, a world leader in synthetic and natural sports surfacing, has just completed laying the pitch for the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow and already employs 245 people around the world.

With company offices in the UK, Holland, the Middle East, Russia, Turkey and Angola, SIS Pitches designs, manufactures, constructs, installs and maintains high-quality synthetic, natural and hybrid sports pitches. Some of its past projects include the Bernabeu and Camp Nou.

SIS Pitches was set up by CEO George Mullan in 2001. While Mr Mullan still lives in his hometown of Sligo, the company has never had a direct presence in Ireland.

He said: “We have had phenomenal success in the UK market as well as in Eastern Europe and Russia. This year, we will be opening a joint venture in China and we are also moving into the US and Japan. We want to bring the success that we have had overseas to Ireland, invest in Ireland and hire Irish people.

“Personally, moving into the Irish market is a great sense of pride and excitement for me. SIS Manufacturing has been supplying synthetic pitches into Ireland for 16 years but now we will now be selling directly to end users, providing a full turnkey service of designing, building, manufacturing, installing and maintaining the pitches.”

SIS Pitches will initially have a presence in Ardboe, headed up by the company’s sales director Darren McGeehan, who is originally from Ballinderry.

Mr McGeehan added: “With more than 25 years’ experience designing and making pitches, Mark and I are looking forward to providing a full turnkey service for rugby, football, GAA, hockey and other pitches to sports clubs, local authorities, third-level institutions and schools across the country.”

Mark Barry, SIS Pitches Ireland Operations Director said: “Our initial plan is to hire eight people with plans to put in warehouses and offices and employ more people as we expand on the island of Ireland.” Globally, the company has more than doubled in size hope to continue this trend.