SIAC Construction Ltd a 100-year-old construction company and eight related companies, employing 250 people have gone into examinership.
The High Court heard the companies owe their lender banks €42m.
The various SIAC companies are involved in continuing and completed projects and are believed to have a reasonable prospect of survival, Lyndon MacCann SC, with Rossa Fanning, for the companies, said when presenting the petition.
Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan appointed Grant Thornton accountant Michael McAteer as interim examiner on the basis of reports from independent accountants.
The petition stated that SCL had become insolvent due to a downturn in business due to recession in Ireland and losses arising from its involvement in a number of road building projects in Poland.
The directors said SCL is under significant pressure from its trade creditors and any petition for its winding up would have a "catastrophic domino effect" on the group as a whole.
Since 2008, the turnover of SIAC Construction Ltd (SCL) has fallen from €265m to €113m.
SCL also has trade creditors of some €26.1m, additional current liabilities of €4.5m and other sums totalling some €24.7m due in contract and rectification provisions and inter company liabilities.
Polish creditors have outstanding claims of €7.4m.
Following the appointment of the interim examiner a full examinership hearing will be held in early November.
The nine companies are SIAC Construction Ltd; SIAC Holdings Ltd; SIAC Holdings (Ireland) Ltd; SIAC Bituminous Products Ltd; SIAC Butlers Steel Ltd; Lilymount Ltd; SIAC (Clondalkin) Ltd; SIAC Baldonnell Ltd and SIAC Property Retailers Ltd.