DOBBIN, PETER LE FANU KNOWLES
- Born: 1860c Died: -
County surveyor for Co. Clare, 1893-1922. Peter Dobbin, third son of the Rev. Peter Dobbin, chaplain to Steevens's Hospital, Dubllin, and his wife Fanny Le Fanu Knowles, was born in Co. Dublin in 1859.(1) After attending school at Rathmines and Portora, Enniskillen, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1877, graduating BA in 1882 and BAI in 1884.(2) During the next five years he was employed by the Board of Works under ROBERT MANNING and was clerk of works for a project at Malin Head, Co. Donegal. In October 1889 he was appointed county surveyor for the southern division of Co. Mayo He was transferred to Co. Clare in July 1893 in succession to JOHN HILL  on a salary of £400 per annum.(3) He held the post for almost thirty years, surviving a Local Government Board enquiry in 1908, which accused him of lax supervision of contracts and the appointment of inadequate overseers.(4) He was asked to resign in June 1922, the reason given being that 'the constant attendance of a younger and more energetic official' was required.(5) His resignation was accepted in August 1922, but he remained as acting county surveyor until the end of the year. He was succeeded by FRANCIS DOWLING .
Dobbin died at Kilkee, Co. Clare, on 28 October 1938 and was buried at Kilferragh cemetery. He had married twice. The 1901 census records that he had a wife, Clemence, three daughters and a son, aged between eleven and seven. According to the census all the members of the family were born in Co. Dublin.(6) By the time of the 1911 census, he had been married for two years to Kathleen Vance, some twenty-seven years his junior, by whom he later had another daughter, Rachel.
Addresses: Kilkee, Co. Clare, 1901; Kilkishen, Co. Clare, 1911.
All information in this entry not otherwise referenced is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 151-152, and from the death notice and obituary in Irish Times, 29 Oct, 2 Nov 1938 (information supplied by Brendan O'Donoghue, 2015).
(1) 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Oct 2009); www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/1901census/kilkee.
(2) R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated.
(3) Connaught Telegraph, 11 Mar 1893,Clare Journal, 3 Jul 1893 (B.O'D.).
(4) Clare Journal, 13 Feb 1908 (B.O'D.).
(5) Clare Co. Council minutes, Clare County Archives, CC/MIN/6 (B.O'D.).
(6) See note 1, above.