Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin and Cork. James Brennan was born in Portlaoise in about 1912; his family subsequently moved to Kerry. He came to Dublin in his early youth and was educated at Belvedere College and UCD School of Architecture. In 1933, while a student at UCD, he won the AAI Downes Bronze Medal for his measured drawings of Christ Church Cathedral, and in 1934 he was awarded the UCD Kerner Greenwood Memorial Prize for his measured drawings of St George's Church, Dublin. After working in the offices of SCOTT & SCOTT & amp; GOOD(1) and ROBINSON & ROBINSON & amp; KEEFE, he set up his own practice at 39 Westmoreland Street in 1937. The following year he received his B.Arch. degree from the National University of Ireland. For many years he conducted a busy general practice in Dublin and Co. Meath. In the early 1950s he suffered ill-health; on recovering he moved to Cork to take up the position of housing architect with Cork Corporation. In 1966 his health again deteriorated. He died in February 1967 and was buried in St Finbarr's Cemetery, Cork. He was survived by his wife.

According to Brendan O'Connor, Brennan was 'a gifted and sensitive painter and his pictures of the Irish Countryside and of Dublin contain the warmth of his affection, clear observation and his wit'. Between 1935 and 1957 he exhibited several paintings as well as architectural drawings and models at the RHA. These included an innovative thoretical proposal for a concrete church on a fan-shaped plan,exhibited in 1835.(2) His personality is described by O'Connor as 'vivid and endearing'.

AAI: elected member 1932; remained a member until 1938.(3)
RIAI: proposed for membership by JOHN O'GORMAN JOHN O'GORMAN , EOGHAN D. BUCKLEY  EOGHAN D. BUCKLEY and BRENDAN O'CONNOR  BRENDAN O'CONNOR and elected 10 February 1939;(4) raised to fellow, 1953.(5)

Addresses:(6) Work: 39 Westmoreland Street, Dublin, 1937-1953; Architect's Department, City Hall, Cork, 1955.
Home: 100 Hollybank Road, Dublin, 1935-1936; 96 Hollybank Road, Glasnevin, 1946;(6) Prague, Hillcrest, Sandyford, 1954; 20 Grosvenor Road, Rathgar, 1957; St Kilda's, Western Road, Cork, <=1958-1969; Ard Muire, Buxton Hill, Sunday's Wells, Cork, 1960- .

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is taken from the obituary of Brennan by Brendan O'Connor in RIAI Year Book (1967), 20, and from a biographical note about him in IB 95, 18 Jul 1953, 741. Jones's notes include further biographical data, for which he gives no source. A bust(?) of Brennan by Laurence Campbell was exhibited at the RHA in 1941 (no. 388).

(1) Sean Rothery, Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 (1991), 146.
(2) RHA 1935, nos. 297,298,437. See Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009), 42,43(illus.). 
(3) Membership lists in AAI Green Books.
(4) JRIAI (1939), 18; Jones transcript from RIAI minutes.
(5) IB 95, 18 Jul 1953, 741; RIAI Year Book (1954, 7.
(6) From RIAI membership lists and RHA Index, I, 79.
(7) University College Dublin: Register of Graduates (1946), 10.


32 work entries listed in chronological order for BRENNAN, JAMES M.


Sort by date | Sort alphabetically


Building: CO. DUBLIN, ?, HOUSE
Date: 1938
Nature: Drawing exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1938, no. 297

Building: CO. DUBLIN, ?, BUNGALOW
Date: 1939
Nature: Drawing exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1939, no. 347

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DOLPHIN'S BARN, NO. 006 (DOLPHIN BAR)
Date: 1939
Nature: International Modern style.
Refs: AJ 89, 22 Jun 1939, 1079; Architectural Design 17 ( July 1947), ? (illus.);  Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009),69,71(illus.).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, ?, HOUSE (PROPOSED)
Date: 1941
Nature: Watercolour exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1941, no. 355

Building: CO. DUBLIN, KILLINEY, MARATHON, DAY NURSERY
Date: 1942-1947
Nature: Day nursery in basement of a house at Killiney.
Refs: RHA 1942, no. 245; AJ 106, 17 Jul 1947, 56 (illus.)

Building: CO. KERRY, LISTOWEL, ST MICHAEL'S COLLEGE
Date: 1943
Nature: Alterations and additions
Refs: IB 85, 6 Nov 1943, 430

Building: CO. WEXFORD, COURTOWN, DANCE PAVILION & CAFE
Date: 1944
Nature: Model (?or watercolour of model) exhibited at RHA, 1944.
Refs: RHA 1944, no. 351;  plan and photograph of model in Architectural Design 17, no. 7, July 1947, 199?

Building: CO. DUBLIN, ?, HOUSE
Date: 1944
Nature: Model (?or watercolour of model) exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1944, 350

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, INCHICORE, CIE CHASSIS FACTORY
Date: 1945-1950
Nature: With Michael Scott
Refs: Drawings for factory in IAA 79/10.2/1-144 (Scott, Tallon, Walker coll.);  M. McDermott, Ireland's Architectural Heritage (1975), 128.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET MIDDLE, OFFICE (PROPOSED)
Date: 1946
Nature: Model exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1946, no. 23

Building: CO. MEATH, DUNSHAUGHLIN, VOCATIONAL SCHOOL (PROPOSED)
Date: 1947
Nature: Plans for new school perpared by JMB. Meath Vocational Education Committee to ask for grant from County Council.
Refs: IB 89, 11 Jan 1947, 24

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET LOWER, NO. 028
Date: 1949
Nature: Alterations
Refs: IB 91, 30 Apr 1949, 414

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RATHDOWN ROAD, WORKSHOP
Date: 1949
Nature: -
Refs: IB 91, 25 Jun 1949, 594

Building: CO. MEATH, TRIM, NAVAN GATE, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1950
Nature: 6 two-storey houses
Refs: IB 92, 8 Jul 1950, 718

Building: CO. MEATH, TRIM, TOWN HALL
Date: 1950
Nature: Addition
Refs: IB 92, 11 Nov 1950, 1224

Building: CO. MEATH, TRIM, FLOWER HILL, GILSENAN'S FIELD, HOUSES (054)
Date: 1950
Nature: -
Refs: IB 92, 23 Dec 1950, 1394

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD NORTH, DOYLE'S CORNER, BOHEMIAN CAFÉ
Date: 1950
Nature: Alterations
Refs: IB 92, 23 Dec 1950, 1390

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DRUMCONDRA ROAD UPPER, NO. 112 (PAYANTAKE LTD)
Date: 1950
Nature: Alterations
Refs: IB 92, 15 Apr 1950, 382

Building: CO. MEATH, KELLS, MOYNALTY ROAD, HOUSES (054)
Date: 1951
Nature: 54 2-storey houses.
Refs: IB 93, 17 Mar,27 Oct 1951, 302,1114; 96, 13 Feb 1954, 157

Building: CO. MEATH, TRIM, RAILWAY ROAD, HOUSES (003)
Date: 1951
Nature: 3 2-storey houses.
Refs: IB 93, 29 Sep 1951, 1014

Building: CO. MEATH, NAVAN, HOUSES (016)
Date: 1951
Nature: 16 2-storey houses.
Refs: IB 93, 10 Nov 1951, 1172

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PRUSSIA STREET, NO. 030
Date: 1951
Nature: New store
Refs: IB 93, 18 Aug 1951, 868

Building: CO. MEATH, NAVAN, HOUSES (010)
Date: 1953
Nature: 10 2-storey houses.
Refs: IB 95, 28 Mar 1953, 324

Building: CO. MEATH, NAVAN, BOYS' NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1953
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting same.
Refs: IB 95, 23 May 1953, 538

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CLAREMONT ROAD, WILTON LODGE
Date: 1953
Nature: Plans for new entrance gate for L. Fleming approved by Corporation.
Refs: IB 95, 28 Mar 1953, 322

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FASSAUGH AVENUE, STORE
Date: 1953
Nature: Additions
Refs: IB 95, 24 Oct 1953, 1108

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, STILLORGAN ROAD (DONNYBROOK), CORAS IOMPAIR EIREANN BUS GARAGE
Date: 1953a
Nature: With Michael Scott.
Refs: Architectural Survey 1953, 26(illus.)

Building: CO. MEATH, NAVAN, DE LA SALLE MONASTERY
Date: 1954
Nature: Tenders invited for erection of new monastery.
Refs: IB 96, 3 Jul 1954, 656

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION ROAD, NO. 102
Date: 1954
Nature: -
Refs: IB 96, 22 May,28 Aug 1954, 509,839

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FITZWILLIAM PLACE, NO. 035
Date: 1955
Nature: Alterations at rear
Refs: IB 97, 3 Apr 1955, 417

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST ANDREW'S STREET, NO. 004
Date: 1956
Nature: Alterations
Refs: IB 98, 14 Jan 1956, 25

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, ?, HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Bungalow, designed for himself.
Refs: Photograph and plan in Architectural Design, July 1947, 183.

Author Title Date Details
Brennan, James M. 'Housing and the Citizen' 1939 Irish Press: RIAI Centenary Souvenir-Number, 22 Jun 1939, 11.