DOOLIN, WILLIAM POWEL
- Born: 1818ca Died: 1873
Quantity surveyor and builder, of Dublin. William Doolin, who was born in Dublin circa 1818,(1) was a son of WALTER DOOLIN and a brother of ROBERT DOOLIN and WALTER DOOLIN  . Writing in April 1842 his father describes him as being 'still assistant architect to the Poor Law Commissioners…always out on the inspection of the buildings and their arrangements so that [he] has an opportunity of meeting of all of the Guardians, which are supposed to be the most respectable of the whole people of Ireland'.(2) He left the job at the end of March 1844(3) and appears to have inherited his father's business in the same year; the Post Office Annual Directory for 1844 lists no Walter Doolin but has William P. Doolin, carpenter and builder, at 21 Westland Row. The two brothers, William and Walter Doolin, continued the business from nos. 22 and 23 Westland Row until 1857 or later, but by 1863 William had broken away to work as a building surveyor and measurer from 27 Talbot Street, leaving Walter to run the family firm alone. In May 1863 he moved his premises to 204 Great Brunswick Street.(4) In 1864 he was elected an associate of the RIAI,(5) and he still appears on the list of associates for the session of 1870-71; however he does not appear in the Post Office Dublin Directory for 1874, which suggests that he may have died in the early 1870s. He achieved eminence in his profession, according to RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER , who later described him as the 'foremost Irish quantity surveyor of his day'.(6) Doolin married Anne Eliza Glynn at St Andrew's church, Westland Row, on 26 July 1847.(7) The couple had several children, of whom WALTER GLYNN DOOLIN , born in 1849, appears to have been the eldest. William Doolin died in 1873 at the age of fifty-five, his widow on 26 September 1877, aged fifty.(8)
(2) Letter from Walter Doolin, 22 Westland Row, Dublin, to Robert Doolin, 25 Apr 1842, reproduced as Appendix A in Gearoid Crookes, 'The Career and Architectural Works of Walter G. Doolin (1850-1902)', unpublished M.A. thesis, Univerity College Dublin, 1987 (copy in IAA).
(3) 10th Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners (1844).
(4) Freeman's Journal, 22 May 1863.
(5) RIAI council meeting minutes, 7 Jan 1864, 9; general meeting minutes, 21 Jan 1864, 136; DB 6, 20 Jan 1864, 15; he was proposed by Thomas Drew and J.H. Owen and seconded W. Stirling and R.A. Gibbons.
(6) Obituary of W.G. Doolin in RIBAJ 9 (1901-02), 280.
(7) See note 1, above.
(8) Glasnevin Cemetery Records.