"It's definitely the people I'll miss the most." - Irene D'Cruz


In December 2023, Irene D’Cruz brought the curtain down on her 35 years with Rogerson Reddan, where she spent her entire career. To thank Irene, pay tribute to her outstanding service, and mark the end of an era at the firm, we sat down with her to reflect on her time with the company.

Rogerson Reddan's first official employee, Irene D'Cruz

Not many people start working for a company while their job interview is still underway, but that’s what happened to Irene D’Cruz.

When she walked through the doors of Rogerson Reddan on Haddington Road in Dublin for a first job interview back in 1988, it didn’t go exactly as planned. Across the table from her, the founders Seamus Reddan and Fred Rogerson were welcoming and easygoing, and Irene got a good feeling right away.

Then the phone rang.

“I ended up answering the phone on the day! I can’t remember whether Seamus or Fred popped out, and one of them asked me: ‘can you get that’?”

It was the start of what would turn out to be a 35-year career at Rogerson Reddan, where Irene was the first official employee after the company founders.

Before that, she had held some local jobs in Monaghan, where she grew up, but back in 1988, Ireland hadn’t yet experienced the boom of the subsequent years. “I was going in with no experience, I had done a secretarial course and an evening accounts course. But I really felt at ease. So, I said yes. I got the job and started the next week.”

Irene with RR Co-Founder and MD, Seamus Reddan

Irene’s official title was office manager, but the role was so much more.

“When I walked in to start the next week, I had never seen a computer, never mind used one. But the guys were always into technology,” she remembers. “It was learning hands on, thrown in at the deep end.”

A fast learner, Irene earned a reputation as Rogerson Reddan’s unofficial IT support provider as the company grew. “I became a bit of an expert. Everybody used to come to me to solve their problems. I seem to have a knack for it, I don’t let it defeat me, I try to get to the bottom of the issues. Whether it was printing, downloading software, setting up people’s PCs, any sort of query at all. I was always the one they went to!”

With a keen eye for detail, Irene also became responsible for quality control. At the start, quantity surveying involved handwritten bills of quantities on take-off paper with every item totted up with a calculator and recorded with pen and paper and then transferred to the computer. This used to involve reams of paper, then printing and binding documents for tender. More recently, it’s moved online so Irene was responsible for making sure all the digital documents, key files and supporting materials were attached, signed and uploaded to e-tenders within deadline. “When I said I was going, they ended up splitting my job into two. I should have been paid twice! Maybe I should have looked for an assistant!” Irene jokes.

Christmas Party 2004 - Irene with current RR Directors David Keenan, Peter Walshe and Kieran Clohessy (left to right)

But if the job could occasionally involve long hours or late nights at times, it also gave her the opportunity to pursue her great love of travelling. She’s grateful to her colleagues for accommodating trips that sometimes took her halfway around the world.

By now, Irene has visited most parts of Europe and Northern America. Her husband is Indian so she has been to India five times. She has visited Vietnam twice and taken a trip to Australia. Next on her bucket list is New Zealand, which she hasn’t visited… yet!

A standing joke in the office would be to ask her: “where are you off to now?”

Behind the banter is a profound appreciation for Irene’s central role at Rogerson Reddan. She reciprocates the feeling, and notes that if the technology has changed over time, there’s been one constant at the company: good people.

“They’ve always hired people with the right attitude who fitted in to their culture and how they wanted the company to run,” she says.

Irene also looks back fondly on the supportive atmosphere at Rogerson Reddan. “You could always work on your own initiative but there was always someone there to give you a dig out if you were struggling. If you wanted to do courses, that was always available.”

And although Irene has always adapted comfortably to changes in technology over the years, she confesses she’s “not a big fan” of remote working. “I definitely miss the interaction, knowing what’s going on with people. You don’t have those same conversations with people on Teams. It’s more work, rather than the personal and social aspect of being in the office, the chat over the coffee, seeing how people are getting on. That’s a big part of what I’ll miss: I’ve been to many colleagues’ weddings, I’ve seen their children grow up and go to college, it’s definitely the people I’ll miss the most.”

And for the many colleagues she leaves behind at Rogerson Reddan, it’s not so much farewell as “bon voyage”.