Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Limerick and Cork. Maurice Hennessy, who, according to the 1901 census of Ireland, was born in Cork in 1848 or 1849, designed several Catholic churches in the south of Ireland.  In September 1875 he published a pamphlet in which he advocated the appointment of diocesan architects to the Catholic Church in Ireland;  his argument was also published in the Irish Builder the following month.(1)   In January 1879 he was appointed general engineer to the Limerick Union and subsequently engineer and architect to the Sanitary Board, an appointment which proved unsatisfactory to both parties and finally ended in court proceedings.(2)   In 1889 he was invited to prepare plans for new schools in connection with the Limerick Athenaeum,(3) though there is no mention of the schools having been carried out. By 1896 he was living in Cork, where he remained for the rest of his life.(4) He was appointed consulting engineer to Bandon rural district council in 1902.(5)

From 1878 or earlier, Maurice Hennessy collaborated to some degree with his brother S. Hennessy, who appears to have had an office in Cork(6) while Maurice Hennessy was in Limerick. In 1879 M & S. Hennessy of Limerick and Cork collaborated on the design of a new tower and spire for St John's Cathedral, Limerick. An inscription in the much later church at Timoleague, Co. Cork, which was unfinished when Maurice Hennessy died in 1909, gives the design to the Hennessy brothers.(7) The undated chapel at Mount St Laurence cemetery, Limerick, is also said to be by them.(8)

Hennessy died in Cork in 1909.   The 1901 census records him as being married to a wife named Marion from Limerick.  His pupils and assistants included RICHARD ALOYSIUS LAVERTINE.  RICHARD ALOYSIUS LAVERTINE.

ICEI: elected associate, 3 February 1775;(9) transferred to member, 1 December 1875;(10) no longer on list of members for 1898.
RIAI: elected associate, 17 April 1873;(11) proposed as member, 13 November 1878, by GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON , seconded by ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY  ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY and JAMES HIGGINS OWEN JAMES HIGGINS OWEN ;(12) elected, 28 November 1878;(13)  struck off for non-payment of subscription;(14) re-elected member 4 February 1907;(15) death recorded in minutes of annual general meeting, 16 Dec 1909.(16)
RSAI: elected member, 3 April 1872.(17)
Society of Architects: elected member, 1891.(18)

Addresses: Work:(19) 10 Glentworth Street, Limerick, <=1873->=1887;(20) 62 George Street, Limerick, 1889;(21) Trinity Chambers, 60 South Mall, Cork, 1896; 74 South Mall, Cork, <=1902 until death.(21)
Home: Dunkereen, Ballymurphy, Cork, 1901.(23)

See WORKS.



References



(1) Freeman's Journal, 17 Sep 1875; IB 17, 1 Oct 1875, 270-271.
(2) Irish Times, 16 Feb 1894.
(3) IB 31, 15 Oct 1889, 259.
(4) A notice of his death is in IB 51, 16 Oct 1909, 666, and also in B 97, 4 Dec 1909, 620.
(5) IB 44, 14 Aug 1902, 135.
(6) S.J. Hennessy, architect, is listed in the Cork City section of the Munster Post Office Directory for 1886.
(7) B of I files, citing information given to Rory O'Donnell by Father Donal Casey, PP, and North Munster Antiq. Journal, 1957.
(8) Information from Garry Miley, 1 The Coach House, Convent Hill, Killaloe, Co. Clare, in letter to AMR of 27 Jun 2000.
(9) TICEI 11 (1874-76), 8.
(10) TICEI 11 (1874-76), 55.
(11) RIAI council meeting minutes, 3 Mar,7 Apr 1873, 177,178; general meeting minutes, 17 Apr 1873, 257; IB 15, 1 May 1873, 128.
(12) RIAI council meeting minutes, 13 Nov 1878, 214.
(13) Jones, ref. not given.
(14) IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile). 
(15) IB 49, 9 Feb 1907, 102.
(16)   Freeman's Journal, 5 Nov 1909;  IB 51, 25 Dec 1909, 807; see also JRIAI (1910), 9.
(17) JRSAI 12 (1872-3), 68.
(18) Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), I, 892.
(19) From TICEI lists of members unless otherwise stated.
(20) RIAI council meeting minutes, 3 Mar 1873; but IB 25, 15 Aug 1883, 251 gives Cecil St, Limerick, as his address in 1883.
(21) IB 48, 3 Nov 1906, 890, gives George St as his address, suggesting that he retained a Limerick office after his move to Cork.
(22) IB 44, 27 Mar 1902, 1088; see note 3, above.
(23) 1901 census of Ireland.


39 work entries listed in chronological order for HENNESSY, MAURICE ALPHONSUS


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Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, BAKER'S PLACE, CHURCH OF ST SAVIOUR (RC, DOMINICAN)
Date: 1870
Nature: Reopened 13 Nov 1870. Totally remodelled inside and out to designs by Goldie & Child, London. Work survised by M.A. Hennessy, CE, Limerick. Builder: McCarthy & Guerin.
Refs: IB 12, 15 Dec 1870, 300,301(illus.)

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, O'CONNELL AVENUE, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1871
Nature: Range of 6 houses with outhouses, for Capt. W. Swanson. Tender of Patrick Kenno(sic) for £1,300 accepted.
Refs: IB 13, 15 Jan 1871, 24

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, MILITARY ROAD, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1871
Nature: Range of 6 houses with out-offices proposed to be built for Capt. W. Swanson. Tenders received ranging from £2,590 to £1,500 (accepted)..
Refs: IB 13, 15 Jan 1871, 24

Building: CO. CLARE, SCARIFF, CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART (RC)
Date: 1872-1875
Nature: New church, for Fr. Kenny. Builder: T.Williams, Borrisoleigh. Cost: £1,200 (half donated by Fr. Kenny, remainder by parishioners). Dedicated, 28 Jul 1875.
Refs: Ignatius Murphy, The Diocese of Killaloe 1850-1904 (Blackrock: Four Courts Press, 1995), 440.

Building: CO. CORK, BUTTEVANT, BARRACKS
Date: 1873
Nature: New gymnasium, 'now erecting'.
Refs: IB 15, 1 Apr 1873, 99

Building: CO. LIMERICK, MURROE, PAROCHIAL HOUSE
Date: 1876
Nature: New parochial house, for Very Rev. Canon Cahill, PP. Tenders invited, Jan 1876.
Refs: Freeman's Journal, 11 Jan 1876.

Building: CO. GALWAY, KINVARA, CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1876-78
Nature: New convent, chapel and school, for Sisters of Mercy.  Contractor:  William Kilroy, Gort (contract signed, 28 Apr 1876). Dedicated 20n Apr 1878.
Refs: Tom May, Churches of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora (Galway, 2000), 110-111(illus.).

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, TEMPLEDERRY, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1877
Nature: New cruciform church with semicircular apse, tower and belfry, replacing church 1813.  For Rev. Denis O'Brien.  Architect: 'M.E. Hennessy'. Builder: McCarthy & Gearan. To cost £4,000.
Refs: B 30, 28 Apr 1877, 436;  Ignatius Murphy, The Diocese of Killaloe 1850-1904 (Blackrock: Four Courts Press, 1995), 36.

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, CATHEDRAL PLACE, CATHEDRAL OF ST JOHN (RC)
Date: 1879-1883
Nature: Modification and completion of tower and spire, with S. Hennessy. Spire completed 1883. Builder: P. Kenna. Clerk of Works: T. Byrne. (M.A. Hennessy added 105 ft to design by P.C.Hardwick.). Original builder Patrick, Kenna, Glentworth St, Limerick; dismissed 1879 and replaced by Thomas Byrne.
Refs: Drawings in collection of Tom Sheridan, architect, Limerick, 2002; design exh. Irish Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures, Dublin, 1882, no. 627; IB 21, 15 Apr,1 Nov 1879, 125,344; 36, 1 Jul 1894, 157; 36, 1 Jul 1894, 157; 48, 3 Nov 1906, 890; 49, 23 Mar,21 Sep 1907, 210,221(illus.),662; John Fleming, St John's Cathedral, Limerick (1987), 66-67

Building: CO. LIMERICK, PALLASKENRY, DISPENSARY
Date: 1881
Nature: To be erected for Board of Guardians.
Refs: IB 23, 15 Apr 1881, 126

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, CATHEDRAL PLACE, CATHEDRAL OF ST JOHN (RC)
Date: 1883-84
Nature: Rebuilding of portion of spire injured by storm last winter. Builder: T. Massingham, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Large richly gilt cross placed on apex stone on 4 Aug 1883 under superintendence of MAH.
Refs: IB 25, 15 Aug 1883, 251; John Fleming, St John's Cathedral, Limerick (1987), 70

Building: CO. LIMERICK, BALLYANRAHAN, MEDICAL OFFICER'S RESIDENCE & DISPENSARY HOUSE
Date: 1888
Nature: Architect: 'H. Hennessy, MRIAI'. Architect's estimate: £940.
Refs: Architect 39, 13 Jan 1888, supplement p.6

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, MERCHANT'S QUAY, NO. 003
Date: 1888
Nature: Rebuilding of house for Patrick Tymons.
Refs: Architect 39, 3 Feb 1888, supplement p.3; 21 Apr 1888, supplement p.5

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, SOLOHEAD, PAROCHIAL HOUSE (SOLOGHEAD HOUSE)
Date: 1888
Nature: New parochial house.
Refs: Signed drawings, 1888, in the collection of Michael Ryan, Solohead.

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, SCHOOLS OF SCIENCE & ART
Date: 1889
Nature: MAH appointed architect of new schools of science and art in connection with Athenaeum. (Never built?)
Refs: IB 31, 15 Oct 1889, 259

Building: CO. CORK, KINSALE, ST JOHN'S MONASTERY
Date: 1896
Nature: New monastery and school for Presentation Brothers. Builder: Thomas Murray, Kinsale.
Refs: 63rd Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland (1896), 21; B 71, 11 Jul 1896, 38;  obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620.

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, PRESENTATION CONVENT
Date: 1898
Nature: Extension of schools and offices. J. Murray's tender for £174 accepted.
Refs: IB 40, 15 Jun 1898, 146; Architect 53, 31 May 1895, suppl. p.11

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, 1798 MEMORIAL
Date: 1898-1900
Nature: Memorial 'to patriots of 1798, 1848, 1867'. In form of figure of Eire on fluted Scottish granite column with shamrocks in capital. FS laid St Stephen's Day 1898. (Figure of Erin destroyed, 1920, and replaced by new figure, 1925.)
Refs: IB 42, 1 Jun 1900, 371,373(illus.); D.J. O'Donoghue, History of Bandon (1970), ?; notes by Rory O'Donnell (B. of I.);  Paula Murphy, Nineteenth-Century Irish Sculpture:  Native Genius Reaffirmed  (Yale University Press:  New Haven & London, 2010), 29,244,Fig. 31).

Building: CO. CORK, CHARLEVILLE, CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS (RC)
Date: 1898-1902;1908-09
Nature: New Gothic church with 6-bay nave, chancel, tower and spire. Local limestone. FS laid 18 Sep 1898. Dedicated Spring, 1902. Builder: Denis Creedon, Fermoy. Completion of tower & building of spire,1908-09.(Tenders invited, May 1908.)
Refs: IB 44, 8 May 1902, 1240; 49, 21 Sep 1907, 662; 50, 30 May 1908, 341,351; B 82, 17 May 1902, 504; 94, 30 May 1908, 648; 97, 4 Dec 1909, 620 (obituary);  Freeman's Journal, 25,30 May 1908.

Building: CO. CORK, DURRUS, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1899-1901
Nature: New Gothic church, built in limestone and Bath stone, dressed with concrete. Nave, side aisles, chancel. Begun in Jun 1899. Finished in summer of 1901. Contractor: O'Donovan (Daniel) & O'Sullivan, Bantry. £2,900.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Jun 1900, 391; 43, 16 Jan 1901, 600; 49, 21 Sep 1907, 662; B 81, 20 Jul 1901, 62;  obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620.

Building: CO. CORK, MILFORD, CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION (RC)
Date: 1899-1903
Nature: New church in Early English Gothic style, with aisles divided from nave by arcades of 5 bays each. Opened Jun 1903. Contractor: D. Linehan.
Refs: IB 41, 1 May 1899, 55; 45, 4 Jun 1903, 1806

Building: CO. CORK, BALLYGARVAN, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1902
Nature: New sacristy & improvements.
Refs: IB 43, 22 May 1902, 1258

Building: CO. CORK, KILCOE (SKIBBEREEN), CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1902-1905
Nature: Church in Gothic style and high altar designed by MAH, for Rev. James O'Sullivan. Builder: Daniel Murphy, Bandon. Completed and dedicated Jul 1905.
Refs: IB 44, 27 Mar,10 Apr,5 Jun 1902, 1088,1108,1274; 47, 12,26 Aug 1905, 549(illus.),594; 49. 21 Sep 1907, 662;  obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620.

Building: CO. CORK, CASTLETOWNBERE, HOUSE
Date: 1903
Nature: House (for Mrs A.F. McCarthy?). Tenders sought.
Refs: IB 45, 13 Aug 1903,1932; obituary in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620.

Building: CO. CORK, CHARLEVILLE, CLANCHY'S TERRACE
Date: 1903
Nature: Re-roofing and repairing, for Mssrs. Clanchy.
Refs: IB 45, 17 Dec 1903, 3046

Building: CO. CORK, CASTLETOWNBERE, HOUSE
Date: 1903
Nature: House, ?for J. Breen
Refs: IB 45, 21 May 1903, vii?; B 84, 16 May 1903, 524 (advt. for tenders)

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1903
Nature: 2 new curates' houses. Builder: P. Buckley. £930.
Refs: IB 45, 21 May,18 Jun 1903, 1778,1834

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, HOUSES
Date: 1905
Nature: Labourers'cottages, for Bandon RDC.
Refs: IB 47, 28 Jan 1905, 72 (or 62?)

Building: CO. CORK, RATHCORMAC, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1905
Nature: Rebuilding (or renovation?). Builder: Jeremiah J. Coffey, Midleton. £2663.
Refs: IB 47, 7 Oct,18 Nov 1905, 710,818,837

Building: CO. CORK, TIMOLEAGUE, CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY (RC)
Date: 1905-11
Nature: New Celtic Romanesque church. Contractor: Daniel Murphy, Bandon. FS laid by Dr Kelly, Bishop of Ross, in 1907. Inscription in church says by 'Hennessy Bros'. For Rev. Peter Hill.
Refs: Designs, dated 1906, in IAA, Ashlin & Coleman drawings collection, Acc. 76/1.157; 3 contract drawings, 1906-7, in IAA, McCurdy & Mitchell Collection, 79/17.16/1-3; further designs formerly in office archives of W.H. Byrne & Son; photograph of perspective view, inscribed by the architect, in P.J. Lynch collection, Acc. 78/34; IB 47, 20 Oct 1905, 844(illus.); 48, 6,20 Oct 1906, 804,822; 49, 21 Sep,5 Oct 1907, 662,702(illus.); 53, 29 Apr 1911, 286; B 91, 13 Oct 1906, 441; IA & C 1, 29 Apr 1911, 286

Building: CO. CORK, KINSALE, HOUSE
Date: 1906
Nature: House to be built, for Mr D. O'Sullivan.
Refs: IB 48, 13 Jan 1906, 30;  obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620.

Building: CO. CORK, GLANMIRE, PRESBYTERY
Date: 1906
Nature: Repairs after recent fire.
Refs: IB 48, 14 Jul 1906, 566

Building: CO. CORK, BANTRY, CURATES' HOUSES (002)
Date: 1907
Nature: Reconstruction.
Refs: IB 49, 24 Aug 1907, 593

Building: CO. CORK, BELGOOLY, CHURCH (RC) & PRESBYTERY
Date: 1907
Nature: Proposed new church and presbytery.
Refs: IB 49, 9 Mar 1907, 176

Building: CO. CORK, DRIMOLEAGUE, MEDICAL OFFICER'S RESIDENCE
Date: 1908
Nature: MAH submits designs to Midleton Union Poor Law Guardians, but those of Maurice Murphy selected.
Refs: IB 50, 18 Apr 1908, 246

Building: CO. CORK, BANTRY, LABOURERS' COTTAGES
Date: 1909
Nature: For Bantry Town Commissioners.
Refs: IB 51, 4 Sep 1909, 565

Building: CO. CORK, CHARLEVILLE, MAIN STREET, M.F. LYNCH & CO.
Date: 1910
Nature: New drapery warehouse & residential premises designed by 'late M.A. Hennessy'
Refs: Obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909, 620;   IB 52, 19 Feb 1910, 122.

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, MOUNT ST LAURENCE CEMETERY
Date: ?
Nature: Mortuary chapel 'by Hennessy brothers'
Refs: B of I files, citing information given to Rory O'Donnell by Father Donal Casey, PP, and North Munster Antiquarian Journal, 1957.

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: New house.
Refs: Obituary of MAH in B 97, 4 Dec 1909,  620

Author Title Date Details
Hennessy, Maurice Alphonsus A plea in favour of the appointment of diocesan architects to the Catholic church in Ireland
1875 Cork: Guy & Co., 1875. (See Freeman's Journal, 17 Sep 1875, and IB 17, 1 Oct 1875, 270-271.)