Architect, of Dublin. Robert Donnelly, son of Robert Donnelly of Holywood, Co. Down, was born in 1877 and educated at St Malachy's College, Belfast. He served his pupilage with JOHN JOSEPH MCDONNELL of Belfast and was then an assistant in the offices of JAMES ST JOHN PHILLIPS in Belfast and FREDERICK BATCHELOR in Dublin. In about 1906 he entered into partnership with JAMES MOORE. Both partners served in the Great War: Moore joined the Royal Engineers in 1916, followed by Donnelly in 1917. At about the same time they formed an association with CYRIL KEEFE , who was also serving in the war, and JOHN JOSEPH ROBINSON. After the war the four men practised together from American Chambers, Sackville Street, until 1925, when Keefe and Robinson set up their own practice in Merrion Square, leaving Donnelly, Moore and W.S. KEATINGE in the Sackville Street office. The partnership of DONNELLY MOORE & amp; KEATINGE lasted until 1937, when the three architects went their separate ways. By 1943 Donnelly had formed a new partnership with D.L. MARTIN. Donnelly was engaged in public housing schemes in Galway, Cobh, Blackrock, and and Wexford.
Donnelly died in 1948, leaving a widow, daughter of Herbert Kennedy, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, who eventually emigrated to New Zealand, and at least one child, a daughter. Writing in the RIAI Year Book for 1949, J.J. Robinson paid tribute to his 'strong personal character and his firm convictions as an Architect, designer and Constructional Engineer', praising the skill and courage manifest in 'his fine qualities as a designer in what is now the "old school" and his daring use of reinforced concrete'. Donnelly's partnership with Martin having come to an end before his death, his practice was bought by GEOFFREY HENRY , who ran it under the name of Donnelly & Henry although there was no longer any connection with the Donnelly family.
AAI: member, 1903; winner of Institute Prize and Travelling Studentship, 1904; hon. sec., 1907-9; gives lecture on 'Architecture and the Public', 21 November 1921.
RIAI: elected member, 1922; fellow, 4 Apr 1946 (proposed by ALFRED E. JONES , VINCENT KELLY and WILLIAM HENRY HOWARD COOKE )
RIBA: passed preliminary examination for qualification as probationer, June 1901; student, 1902.
Addresses: Work: 19 Nassau Street, 1907-1912; 36 Nassau Street, 1913-1917; 11 Fleet Street, 1918-1919; American Chambers, 14-15 O'Connell Street Lower, 1921-1936; 63-64 O'Connell Street Upper, 1937-48.
Home: Lower Martello Terrace, Holywood, Co. Down, 1901-1902; 64 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, 1904; 19 Sydney Avenue, Blackrock, 1911; Wandera, Dublin Road, Sutton, 1945-48.
For the purposes of this database all works executed between 1906 and 1915 are listed under DONNELLY & amp; MOORE; all works between 1916 and 1925 under DONNELLY MOORE KEEFE & amp; ROBINSON ; all works between 1915 and 1933 under DONNELLY MOORE & amp; KEATINGE ; all works after 1943 under DONNELLY & amp; MARTIN.
Information about Donnelly's early life and career is from E. Macdowel Cosgrave, ed., Dublin and County Dublin in the Twentieth Century (1908), 266, which also has a portrait photograph of him.
Before this he may possibly have worked for a while for Dublin Corporation, as Jones has a reference to 'Robert Donnolly' as a building surveyor for Dublin Corporation, taken from IB 43, 27 Feb 1901, 641.
Rolls of honour in AAI Green Books, 1916-1919.
Confusingly Keefe and Robinson in 1912 had taken on the work in hand of the civil engineer George T. Moore, so that their practice was already been known as Moore, Keefe & Robinson. Was James Moore related to George Moore, and was this the reason for the association? (5Information about Donnelly's various partnerships is inferred from notices of works in IB and RIAI lists of members.
According to J.J. Robinson's obituary in RIAI Year Book (1949), 25, he was 'Town Planning architect for Wexford'.
Information from Geoffrey C.F. Henry in telephone call of 9 May 1995.
See note 6, above.
See note 7, above.
Information from AAI Green Books.
Irish Times, 22 Nov 1921.
JRIAI (1923), 4.
Jones files, citing RIAI minutes?
RIBAJ 8 (1900-1901), 435.
RIBAJ 10 (1902-3), 81.
Information from AAI and RIAI lists of members and Thom's Directories unless otherwise stated.
See notes 13 and 14, above.