Cork City Engineer from 1881 or 1882 until 1896. Michael Joseph McMullen, who was born circa 1851, was a son of Barry McMullen, a well-known builder in Cork. According to his own account, he was engaged in building and engineering work from the age of about thirteen, when presumably he used to help in his father's yard. He received his schooling from the Christian Brothers and served a 12-month apprenticeship to Sir JOHN BENSON . In 1872 at the age of 21 he entered the School of Engineering at Queen's College Cork, and in 1876 obtained the BE degree. When he applied for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland in November 1878, he stated that had carried out the rebuilding of St Vincent's Bridge in Cork and had been engineer for the rebuilding of the Admiralty Pier in Cobh.
McMullen was appointed architect and engineer to the Cork Union in 1879 and City Engineer and Surveyor in 1881 or 1882 in succession to MATTHIAS THOMAS O'KEEFFE . In 1890 he prepared plans for the reconstruction of the Corn Market on Albert Quay as the Municipal Buildings. The work was carried out in a defective manner by the contractor, Alderman Edward Fitzgerald, and the building sank on the foundations which had not been built to the measurements specified in the contract drawings. Protracted litigation followed, in which Fitzgerald and McMullen were sued unsuccessfully by Cork Corporation for damages of £8,000 each. McMullen, whose negligence was recognized, though ascribed by some to the very poor health he had been in for a considerable time, was suspended from his duties and resigned in July 1896 on a pension of £250 a year. He subsequently went to live in France, where he died in 1923.
McMullen's pupils and assistants included his brother JAMES FINBARRE M cMULLEN.
ICEI: elected member, 5 February 1879; had ceased membership by 1898.
Address: Sun Lodge. Sundays Well, Cork, 1878.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the list of first year students, 1872-3, in the Student Admission Registers of University College, Cork, and from McMullen's application for membership of the ICEI, 3 May 1882 in ICEI Membership Applications, Vol. II, 60 (microfilm in NLI, Pos. 9384).
IB 21, 15 Nov 1879, 346.
For some account of these events, see IB 36, 15 Feb 1894, 251-2; 37, 1 Feb 1895, 30; 38, 1 Mar,15 Apr,1 Jul,1 Aug 1896, 55,87,147,150,157; alsoBuilding News, 13 Mar,17 Jul 1896, 402,?.
IB 65, 20 Oct 1923, 802.
TICEI 12 (1876-79), ?.
See note 1, above.