County surveyor for North Kerry and for the South Riding of Co. Tipperary. Edward Hackett was born on 1 December 1859, the fifth and youngest son of Thomas Hackett of Castletown Park, Ballycumber, Co. Offaly, by his wife Henrietta Clementina, daughter of Samuel Fawcett, of Ballintogher and Clonagh, Tullamore. He studied at the Engineering School of the Royal University of Ireland from 1877 to 1880, when he obtained the BE degree. He then served a pupilage of nine months to JAMES PRICE of Dublin, and from July 1881 until June 1882 was an assistant to BENJAMIN FERGUSON FLEMYNG , of Dublin, employed on planning and setting out a branch of the Great Southern and Western Railway. From July 1882 until August 1886 he worked for the Natal Government Railway under M.W. Carr, first as an engineering draughtsman and then as assistant resident engineer on a stretch of heavy line. In the summer of 1886 he was in charge of some small piers and roads on islands off the west coast of Ireland; he then worked as contractor's engineer on the Craigmaddie reservoir for Glasgow Corporation Waterworks. In September 1887, having gained first place in the county surveyorship examination, he was appointed county surveyor of the North Riding of Co. Kerry, from which he was transferred in July 1889 to the surveyorship of the South Riding of Co. Tipperary. He remained in the latter post until 1920. In 1899 he was elected engineer to Carrick-on-Suir Urban District Council. He served as a commissioner on the Waterford Bridge Commission and on the Portumna Bridge Commission.
According to a brief notice about him in the Irish Builder in 1910, Hackett was an enthusiastic and pioneering advocate of steam-rolling: 'He was early in the field, and was fortunate enough to be able to convince his County and District Councillors. He followed this up by adopting the most scientific and up-to-date methods, with the result that his roads have worn far longer than the original estimate on which the cost was based, and an actual saving has been effected in the rates.' His pupils and assistants included THOMAS FRANCIS RYAN.
Hackett retired to Co. Offaly, where he took over the farm of his deceased older brother Billy. The farm was acquired by the land Commission in the 1930s. He died in February 1945 and was buried in the graveyard at Liss, Ballycumber. He had married on 28 August 1883, Emilie Elliott, daughter of Captain John W. Henry, RN, of Ballyshannon, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. Two of his sons died in action during the First World War, and one of his daughters, a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, died of pneumonia on her way home from France in October 1918. All of his six children eventually predeceased him.
Inst.CE: elected member 5 December 1893; name erased from list of members, 21 November 1922.
Incorporated Association of Municipal and County Engineers: elected member, 12 December 1891; resigned membership April 1919.
Addresses: Home: Castletown Park, Ballycumber, Co. Offaly; Melbrook, Clonmel,Co. Tipperary, 1893-1901; Greenville, Clonmel, 1901->=1910.
See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accunted for is from Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), 538, from the archives of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, kindly transmittd by Mrs Carol Morgan, Archivist, and from a note on Hackett by Pat Holland, County Museum curator, Clonmel, 5 Febrary 1997, kindly transmitted by Brendan O'Donoghue. A photograph of Hackett appears in IB 52, 16 Apr 1910, 236.
He obtained the ME degree in 1882.
Kerry Sentinel, 27 Sep 1887.
O'Donoghue. He resigned from the Incorporated Association of Municipal and County Engineers in April 1919, and the 1922 edition of Thom's Official Dicrectory names Thomas S. Duggan as acting county surveyor.
IB 41, 15 Sep 1899, 135.
IB 52, 16 April 1910; see also IB 47, 30 Dec 1905, 929.
Ireland's Memorial Records, 1914-1918 (1923) (B.O'D.)