Architect and civil engineer of Dublin and Cork. Joseph Delany was born in Co. Tipperary on 13 October 1872 and went to school at St Vincent's College, Castleknock. He continued his studies at Clonmel Art School, where he was awarded the Mayor's Prize in Science and Art Subjects. He then attended the City of Dublin Technical Institute and the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, where he won a School Prize in Art subjects. In 1892 he started a four-year pupilage in the office of WALTER GLYNN DOOLIN ; this was followed by a year an an assistant. During this period his measured drawing of two doorways at Christ Church cathedral were published in the Irish Builder and the following year, in 1897, he won the AAI Travelling Scholarship with his measured drawings of the dining hall at Trinity College. In 1898 he was awarded a medal for architecture in the National Art Competition at the South Kensington Science and Art Department. From 1897 to 1898 he was an assistant in the Royal Engineers Department.
At the end of 1898 Delany was elected assistant to the Dublin City Architect, CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY , and in 1903 he was appointed city engineer of Cork. On taking up the Cork post he immediately set about improving the water supply system and reducing the abnormally high rate of water consumption in the city, and by April 1904 he had also produced a report on the public places of entertainment in Cork. In 1906 he was joint honorarary secretary to the Engineering and Architecture section of the Royal Institute of Public Health Congress, and he was also a member of the Committee of the Irish Roads Congress in 1910. During his early years in Cork he visited America to inspect American methods of municipal engineering and architectural practice. He remained in Cork for over twenty years, resigning in 1924 because of illness brought about by pressure of work. Although he is said to have retired from Cork to Clonmel, from around 1926 until 1936 he kept an office at 97 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, in the same building as BECKETT & amp; HARRINGTON. He died at Clonmel in 1942. He had not married by the time of the 1911 census, which was taken when he was thirty-eight, and perhaps never did so.
Delany was an active and energetic public man, whose concerns ranged beyond the needs of Cork to those of Ireland generally. Pike's biography in Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century describes him as being interested 'in Irish industrial and language movements, in the country's national well being, its educational advancement and in economic reform'. Announcing his election as chairman of the Institution of Irish Municipal Engineers in 1921, the Irish Builder noted that he was a member of the Joint Council of the Executive Professions, a subsidiary branch of the Committee on Irish Reconstruction. 'Mr Delaney' it added 'has taken considerable interest in matters affecting the internal development of the country's natural resources and in the promotion of its industrial and commercial interests. In this connection he has had in preparation some useful papers relating to the exploitation of Irish peat and coal, the development and extension of electric power, the utilisation of water resources for industrial power production, the reformation of transport facilities by rail, road annd water, the establishment of a comprehensive Irish road improvement policy and the the possibilities of a co-ordinated policy for the re-planning and general improvement of our towns and cities.'
Delany's pupils and assistants included BRENDAN JOSPH CLINCH.
AAI: member, 1896-1903, 1925 until death; wins Maguire prize, 1897; vice-president, 1929-30.
Association of Local Government Officers of England: elected member, 1914.
ICEI: elected member, 3 March 1915.
Association of Municipal & County Engineers: elected member, 14 July 1904.
Association of Municipal & County Engineers (Ireland): chairman, 1921.
RIAI: elected member, 1898, having been proposed by W.G. Doolin, seconded by JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN and C.J. McCarthy;; hon. auditor, 1900; fellow, 1920.
RIBA: licentiate, 1928?
RSAI: elected member, l October 1912.
Royal Sanitary Institute: member by 1911.
Royal Institute of Public Health: member by 1911.
Addresses: 12 Dawson St, 1898; 6 Gardiner's Row, Dublin, 1901-1903; King's Terrace, Cobh, 1911; c/o Mrs Butler, Main St Clonmel, 1925; 97 St Stephen' Green, 1926-1936; Brookdale, Clonmel, from 1936.
See WORKS, BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Delany's application for membership of the ICEI (ICEI membership applications, IV, 186) and the biography in Richard J. Hodges, Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century (1911), 188, which is accompanied by a portrait photograph, and
IB 38, 15 May 1896, 106(illus.); this drawing, and the letters he wrote to IB is signed 'J.F. Delany', which is presumably the correct spelling of his surname.
Published in IB 41, 1,15 Oct 1899, 138,142,160, drawing of stairs only repr. in IB 73, 20 Jun 1931, 541-2.
IB 41, 1 Jan 1899, 6.
IB 45, 3 Dec 1903, 3007,3034.
IB 47, 11 Feb 1905, ?.
IB 46, 23 Apr 1904, 237.
IB 66, 26 Jul 1924, 650; in IB 67, 24 Jan 1925, 69, there is a report of the presentation to him of a silver loving cup and a set of special engineering and surveying instruments by the citizens of Cork.
RIAI membership lists.
IB 84, 7 Nov 1942, 410.
IB 63, 4 Jun 1921, 398.
From lists of officers and members in AAI Green Books unless otherwise stated.
Irish Times, 22 Oct 1897.
IB 56, 20 Jun 1914, 387.
TICEI 41, ?.
Proceedings of the Association of Municipal & County Engineers, membership lists.
IB 63, 4 Jun 1921, 398.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 7 Feb 1898, 354.
JRIAI (1921), 2.
He appears for the first time as LRIBA in RIAI membership list for 1929.
JRSAI 42 (1912), 351.
See note 16, above.
IB 43, 10 Apr 1901, 695; AAI Green Book (1904), membership list.
TICEI 51 (1923-24), membership list.
RIAI membership lists.
See note 24, above.