Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Builder, of Dublin. Born circa 1819, Walter Doolin was a son, probably the youngest, of WALTER DOOLIN [1] WALTER DOOLIN [1] . By 1842 he was working in the family business, described by his father as having 'all the life and fun and amusement of his mother' as well as being very clever at business, 'able to make out an estimate of any work, ever so extensive or difficult'. From the evidence of the directories(1) it would appear that after his father's death, probably in 1842 or 1843, the business passed to his brother WILLIAM DOOLIN WILLIAM DOOLIN . The two brothers ran the firm in partnership from 22 and 23 Westland Row until 1857 or later, but by 1863 Walter Doolin was running the business alone, and William was working as a building surveyor and measurer from 27 Talbot Street.(2) In 1857, while the brothers were still in partnership, the firm was engaged to build additions designed by the English architect GEORGE GOLDIE  GEORGE GOLDIE to the Vincentian Church at Phibsborough, Dublin. This contract became the subject of protracted litigation in 1868, when the builders sued Father Dixon, rector of the Phibsbosrough Vincentian Mission House, for a balance of payment which they claimed was due to them. The case of Doolin v. Dixon, which extended over a period of six months, was finally settled by arbitration.(3) For some time until shortly before his death, Walter Doolin owned the Ballinasloe lime quarries,(4) and in the 1880s and 1890s his business is described as 'stone and marble works' rather than 'builder and contractor'.(5) He died, aged eighty-one, in September 1900 at his house, The Bungalow, St Mary's Road, Dublin, having retired from active business for some years.(6)

Addresses: Home: Glenville, 28 Sydney Avenue, Blackrock, <=1874->=1883;(7) 49 Northumberland Avenue, 1896;(8) The Bungalow, No. 6, St Mary's Rd, Dublin, <=1899-1900.(9)


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the letter from Walter Doolin, 22 Westland Row, Dublin, to Robert Doolin, 25 Apr 1842, reproduced in Gearoid Crookes, 'The Career and Architectural Works of Walter G. Doolin (1850-1902)', unpublished M.A. thesis, University College Dublin, 1987 (copy in IAA).

(1) Post Office Directory 1844,1857; Thom's Directory 1863.
(2) Thom's Directory for 1863 has Mrs. Catherine Doolin, presumably the widow of Walter Doolin[1] living in No. 22; in the Post Office Directory for 1874 No. 22 is occupied by a surgeon, and the Doolin building firm is operating from No. 23 only.
(3) For accounts of the case see IB 10, 15 Nov,1,15 Dec 1868, 280,289,294,303,305; 12, 1 Apr 1870, 70-72; 51, 20 Mar 1909, 186; also Crookes, pp. 6-10.
(4) Obituary in IB 42, 15 Sep 1900, 488; he owned the quarries by at least 1881, see IB 23, 15 Feb 1881, 59.
(5) Thom's Directory 1883; Post Office Directory 1896.
(6) See note 4, above.
(7) Post Office Directory 1874, Thom's Directory 1883.
(8) Post Office Directory, 1896.
(9) Post Office Directory for 1899 and 1900, and see note 2, above.

Author Title Date Details
Owen, James Higgins 'The Phibsborough Church Case: Doolin v. Dixon' 1870 IB 12, 1 Apr 1870, 70-72. (Paper read to RIAI, 17 Mar 1870.)