County surveyor for the northern division of Co. Cork, 1909-1929, and for the whole county, 1929-1940. Richard O'Connor, son of John O'Connor and an elder brother of DOMINIC MARY O'CONNOR , was born in Cork on 10 January 1875 into 'a family well-known in the timber trade'. He went to school at the Christian College, Cork, and Clongowes Wood College. After leaving school in 1893 he worked in the business of James O'Connor and Sons, builders, in Cork (presumably the family firm). In 1896 he entered Queen's College, Cork, graduating with the BE degree in 1899. This was followed by a two-year pupilage under James Charles Inglis, chief engineer of the Great Western Railway at Paddington. After further experience in England, he returned to Ireland in 1905 and set up a contracting business in partnership with John Martin of Drogheda, known as Martin & Co., which carried out various works including pier extensions at Courtmacsherry and Castletownbere, Co. Cork, and at Cleggan, Co. Galway, waterworks at Kilkee, Co. Clare, and main drainage at Howth, Co. Dublin. In June 1909 he was appointed county surveyor for the northern division of Co. Cork, based in Mallow. In 1925, following the resignation of RICHARD WILLIAM FREDERICK LONGFIELD , county surveyor for the western region, the county divisons were redrawn to form two divisions only, the north and the south; O'Connor remained surveyor for the enlarged northern district until 1929, when, following the death of the surveyor for the southern district, JEREMIAH THOMAS MURPHY , his duties were further increased to include the whole county. During his years in office, he was responsible for the construction of the Healy Pass tourist road and for the preparation of the Co. Cork motor racing circuit. He was also an aviation enthusiast - he was the first to propose the name Aer Lingus for the national airline - and supported schemes for the development of airports at Belvelly and Midleton. He died in office at home in Mallow after a short illness on 2 March 1940, survived by his wife. His pupils and assistants included DENIS COFFEY.
ICEI: elected member, 2 December 1908; reads paper on 'Irish free State transport problems', 2 May 1927, and leads discussion of paper by J.H. Waller on 'Wear and tear of roads by motor vehicles', 4 February 1929.
Inst.CE: elected associate member, 3 March 1903; transferred to member, 23 June 1936.
Addresses: Home: Ashton Lawn, Cork, 1903; Knocknahorgan, Glanmire, Cork, <=1905->=1908; Clyda Villa, Mallow, 1915.
See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise referenced is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 270-272, which gives the fullest account of O'Connor's career, from the records of Inst.CE, London (kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, archivist) from , ICEI membership applications, IV, 60 (NLI microfilm, Pos. 9386), and from the obituaries of O'Connor in IB 82, 16 Mar 1940, 166, and TICEI 66 (1940), 184-5. A photograph of O'Connor is in http://www.headrambles.com/2007/03/03/my-grandad/ (2008)
The year is given as 1874 in the TICEI obituary but as 1875 in both of O'Connor's candidate's circulars for Inst.CE and also in his application for membership of ICEI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer_Lingus#Early_years (2008). See Michael Barry, The Story of Cork Airport, (Eigse Books, c.1988). His date of death is taken from Inst.CE records. The date of 6 Jan given in TICEI obituary is incorrect. TICEI 35 (1908-9), ? TICEI 53 (1926-27), 210-231. TICEI 55 (1928-29), 78-102. From Guy's Cork Almanac & Directory (1915).