In the first of our series of 23 stories, crane operator, Jimmy McManus takes us on a journey to the top of the Grand Central Hotel.
Jimmy McManus has a daily view of Belfast that few get to see, operating the tower crane which is supporting the construction of the Grand Central Hotel. Standing at the dizzy height of 475 feet, the Grand Central Hotel which is due to open in 2018 will have 300 bedrooms over 22 floors making it Ireland’s tallest hotel. The crane is so high that Belfast City Airport has had to alter flightpaths. Jimmy, the 54 year-old, Dunmurry father-of-10 began his career in London in 1984 and has spent the majority of his working life in England, operating cranes on projects such as the Chelsea and Manchester City football stadiums, hospitals and office block, but working 475ft above the city isn’t for the faint-hearted as you can see from the video footage we captured.