Engineer with the Board of Public Works. Gibbons, who was born circa 1798, began his career in commerce, which he abandoned in favour of engineering. He started his engineering career in 1828, when he superintended the building of an extension to the pier at Kilrush, Co. Clare, designed by ALEXANDER NIMMO . In 1832 he was appointed resident engineer for repairs to Dunmore Harbour, which had also been designed by Nimmo, and in 1834 county surveyor for Co. Wexford, a post which he held until 1838, when he succeeded RICHARD THOMAS as resident engineer for Kingstown Harbour, a position which he held until his death. At the same time he was appointed resident engineer to the Dublin and Kingstown Railway. He appeared several times before committees of the House of Commons in connection with the extension of the line to Dalkey, which was initially operated on the air-driven 'atmospheric' system. When the railway was further extended from Dalkey to Wicklow in 1856, Gibbons surveyed the proposed line under ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL . In 1846 on the passing of an act of Parliament which allocated £50,000 for the construction of fishery piers and harbours in Ireland as a relief measure, Gibbons was appointed Engineer for Piers and Harbours by the Board of Works. Over a period of about six years he was responsible for the outlay of over £100,000 on more than forty different works: piers, harbours, breakwaters, boat-slips and docks.
Gibbons's position with the Dublin & Kingstown Railway ceased in 1856. He declined the offer of the position of engineer to the Dublin & Wicklow Railway Company the following year, as his undivided services were required by the Board of Works, which promoted him to the post of principal engineer. He held this position until his death, which took place unexpectedly on the evening of 24 October 1862 at 13 Dawson Street.
ICEI: founder member, 1835; council member, 1845-1856; vice-president, 1858-1862.
Geological Society of Dublin: council member, 1852.
RIAI: elected hon. associate, 21 Feb 1850.
Addresses: Susan Place, Dun Laoghaire, 1844; 2, Connaught Place, Dun Laoghaire, <=1847-death.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the memoir of Gibbons by M. Bernard Mullins in TICEI 7 (Pt. 2; 1862-63), 168-172.
He is designated thus in the list of the Board's staff in Thom's Directory until 1850-62 when he appears simply as one of the Board's three, then two, engineers.
See note 1, above.
DB 4, 1 Nov 1862, 281; according to Thom's Irish Almanac for 1863, 13 Dawson Street was the premises of Mary Anne Nolan's grocery, tea, wine and spirit establishment.
Jones's transcript from lists of ICEI officers in Thom's directories.
Photocopy of transcript of minutes of first meeting of Engineers' Society of Ireland, 6 Aug 1835, in IAA, Jones File F73.
Jones's transcript from list of Geological Society of Dublin officers in Thom's directories.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 17 Jan 1850, 66,67; ordinary meeting minutes, 21 Feb 1850, 70.
From Post Office, Pettigrew & Oulton's and Thom's directories.