Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Civil engineer and architect. Patrick Comber was born in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, on 30 April 1831, the eldest son of Thomas Comber and Catherine, daughter of Edward Gannon, of Rossbeg, Kilmena, Co. Mayo. He was educated privately and by the monks of the Third Order of St Francis at Errew Monastery and was articled to his father as an architect and builder. In 1853 he entered the Royal Engineer Department at Edinburgh, serving in Scotland until 1862, in the Ionian Islands, 1862-1864, and at Chatham, 1864-1868. In 1868 he prepared plans for the Royal Mint at Melbourne, Australia, and went to Melbourne the following year to arrange for its erection; he remained in Melbourne as superintendent of the Coining Department until 1875.

In 1876 Comber returned to Ireland. He was surveyor to the Bray Township Commissioners from 1881(1) or earlier until 1897, when he was succeeded by ALFRED DICKINSON PRICE. ALFRED DICKINSON PRICE. (2) In 1886 he was selected from thirty-five applicants by the Drogheda Union Board of Guardians to design and supervise the erection of labourers' cottages under the provisions of the Labourers Act of 1883; when the appointment was rescinded soon afterwards in favour of JOSEPH BERRY JOSEPH BERRY , Comber was paid compensation of £100.(3)

Comber died in at home in Dublin on 25 June 1909.(4) He had married Mary (d. 1906), eldest daughter of John Forstall, of Edinburgh, on 3 May 1859, whose name he appears to have added to his own. He had three sons and three daughters.

ICEI: elected member 7 April 1886;(5) delivered paper on Bray sea wall 1 Feb 1888;(6) awarded a Mullins Silver Medal for same.(7)
Inst.CE: member.
Association of Municipal & County Engineers: elected member, 1 May 1886; re-elected 13 February 1897.(8)
Surveyors' Institution: fellow.
Royal Sanitary Institute: member.
Royal Institute of Public Health: member.

Addresses:(9) 4 Prince of Wales Terrace, Bray, 1883; 37 College Green and Friary Hall, Bray <=1886 until 1889; 8 Anglesea Street, Dublin, 1890 until >=1896; 19 Leeson St Lower, Dublin <=1896 until >=1906.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise acounted for is from the biography (with photograph) of Comber in E. Macdowel Cosgrave, ed., Dublin and County Dublin in the Twentieth Century (1908), 256. A brief obituary is in Min.Proc.Inst. CE 177 (1908-9), 292.  See also the entry on Comber by Stephanie P. Jones in Dictionary of Irish Biography, ed. by James McGuire and James Quinn, 9 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 2009), II, 710-11. 

(1) IB 23, 1 Dec 1881, ?. His proposal for extending the township was presented to Parliament in 1881. 
(2) IB 39, 1 Feb 1897, 23.
(3) P.J. Geraghty, 'P.J. Dodd of Drogheda, Architect and Civil Engineer', in Journal of the Old Drogheda Society No. 9 (1994), 27.
(4) Obituary in Min.Proc.Inst. CE 177 (1908-9), 292.
(5) TICEI 17 (1887), 205.
(6) TICEI 19 (1889), 101-108.
(7) TICEI 20 (1891), Annual report of Council, 1889, 3.
(8) See note 2, above.
(9) TICEI membership lists, Thom's Directory 1883 and Post Office Directories 1896,1900


21 work entries listed in chronological order for COMBER, PATRICK FORSTALL


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Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY, SEA WALL
Date: 1881-1886
Nature: Construction of same. Contractor: R. McAlpine
Refs: IB 23, 1 Dec 1881, ?; 27, 15 Mar 1885, 96; 28, 1 Jul,15 Sep 1886, 200,256; 30, 15 Feb 1888, 42; P.F. Comber, 'Bray Sea Wall and Promenade', TICEI 19 (1889), 101-108; Thomas Craig, Guide to Bray (1884), 9-10; obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY, PROMENADE
Date: 1884
Nature: New promenade. Under construction, 1884.
Refs: Thomas Craig, Guide to Bray (Dublin, 1884), 9-10;  obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Building: CO. LAOIS, PORTLAOISE, TOWN HALL
Date: 1885
Nature: Entrant in competition for adds and alts.
Refs: IB 27, 1 Jan 1885, 6

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, HARBOUR
Date: 1889
Nature: Proposed harbour improvements. Construction of parallel walls along Boyne from railway viaduct to mouth of river. Plans prepared by PFC & W.G. Strype
Refs: IB 31, 1 Nov 1889, 267

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY, HARBOUR
Date: 1890-95
Nature: New harbour designed by PFC with W.G. Strype. Contractor: W.J. Doherty, CE.
Refs: IB 32, 1,15 Sep,15 Dec 1890, 209,221,295; 33, 15 Jul 1891, 155; Architect 44, 19 Dec 1890, Supplement p.2; Wicklow Newsletter, 17 Mar 1888, 18 Jul 1891; obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Building: CO. MONAGHAN, CARRICKMACROSS, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1898
Nature: With late W.G. Strype. Contractors: Hegarty & Gault, Ballymena
Refs: IB 40, 1,15 Sep 1898, 133,140,141,149; obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY URBAN DISTRICT, HOUSES
Date: 1900
Nature: Labourers' cottages, for Bray Urban District Council
Refs: IB 42, 15 Jan 1900, 242

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LOUGHLINSTOWN, RATHDOWN UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1900-1901
Nature: New chapel & nuns' residence; FS laid 19 Jul 1901. Contractor: Pemberton. Estimated cost £3250-4000.  Altar designed by PFC.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Jun 1901, 391; 43, 30 Jan,23 May 1901, 601, 735; 44, 30 Jan 1902, 1026; Wicklow Newsletter, 31 Mar 1900, 18 May 1901, 27 Dec 1902; inscription on trowel presented to Dr. W. Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin, at founding ceremony.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LOUGHLINSTOWN, RATHDOWN UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1901,1903
Nature: New wards, alterations to wards; slating
Refs: IB 43, 12,26 Sep 1901, 862,873; 45, 2 Jul 1903, 1852

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, NEWTOWN AVENUE, DISPENSARY
Date: 1901-1902
Nature: Alts. & repairs
Refs: IB 43, 19 Dec 1901, 976; 44,, 2 Jan 1902, 994

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY, SEWERS
Date: 1902
Nature: In Herbert Road &c.; for Bray UDC.
Refs: IB 44, 3 Jul,18 Dec 1902, 1308,1526; obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, STILLORGAN, DRAINAGE
Date: 1902
Nature: -
Refs: IB 44, 10 Apr 1902, 1110

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LOUGHLINSTOWN, RATHDOWN UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1903
Nature: Repairs & alterations to hospital; portable iron hospital
Refs: IB 45, 2,16 Jul 1903, 1852,1883

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LOUGHLINSTOWN, RATHDOWN UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1905
Nature: Drainage and sewerage work
Refs: IB 47, 6 May,7 Oct 1905, 314,710

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUNDRUM, DRAINAGE
Date: 1906
Nature: Prepares outline scheme for same, 1905, for Rathdown No. 1 RDC.
Refs: IB 48, 24 Mar 1906, 253

Building: CO. DUBLIN, FOXROCK, DRAINAGE
Date: 1906
Nature: With John Pansing, for Rathdown RDC. Resigned.
Refs: IB 48, 14,28 Jul,6,20 Oct 1906, 545,618,822,861

Building: CO. WICKLOW, TROOPERSTOWN, SCHOOL (RC)
Date: 1908
Nature: New schools. Tenders invited Aug 1908. Cost: £300.
Refs: Clonliffe College Archive, MS p1/2;  B 97, 8 Aug 1908, 172.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DEAN'S GRANGE, CEMETERY
Date: 1908
Nature: New waiting room & shelter. Contractor: B. Pemberton
Refs: IB 50, 13 Jun 1908, 373

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, ATHLONE, WATER SUPPLY
Date: ?
Nature: With W.G. Strype.
Refs: Obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292; obituary of Strype in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 134 (1897-8, Pt. IV), 412.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, TIPPERARY, WATER SUPPLY
Date: ?
Nature: With W.G. Strype.
Refs: Obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292; obituary of Strype in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 134 (1897-8, Pt. IV), 412

Building: CO. DUBLIN, RATHDOWN, SEWERAGE
Date: ?
Nature: -
Refs: Obituary in Min.Proc.Inst CE 177 (1908-9), 292.

Author Title Date Details
Comber, Patrick Forstall 'Bray Sea Wall and Promenade'. 1888 TICEI 19 (1887-88), 101.