Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Cos. Longford and Tipperary (North Riding). John Ouseley Bonsall Moynan,(1) who was born in 1853 or 1854 at 1 Eldon Terrace Dublin, the house of his uncle John Ouseley Bonsall, was the eldest son of Richard Moynan of Dublin and his wife, Harriet Noble,(2) and elder brother of the painter Richard T. Moynan, RHA. After attending school in Nice, he studied engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, obtaining the BAI degree in 1874;(2) he then served a one-year pupilage with JAMES PRICE JAMES PRICE , followed by three years as resident engineer on the first division of the Waterford County Railway. He then did various work for EDWARD GLOVER EDWARD GLOVER , county surveyor for the southern division of Co. Mayo, and JOHN HENRY BRETT JOHN HENRY BRETT , county surveyor for Co. Kildare. He was an engineering inspector with the Board of Works when he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Longford in September 1883 after gaining exceptionally high marks in the county surveyorship examination. In 1891 he was transferred to the North Riding of Co. Tipperary.(3) He held the latter post, which was based in Nenagh, for thirty-eight years until his resignation in December 1929.(4) According to his obituary in the Irish Builder he 'was a pioneer in the cause of road improvement and advocated steam-rolling and direct labour under the control of the surveyor in preference to the method of letting out the contracts in short sections to small farmers and others, which was the procedure usually followed by the Grand Juries in the days when they controlled this branch of work'. He also ran a private engineering and architectural practice in partnership with ROBERT PAUL GILL  ROBERT PAUL GILL from 1903 or earlier.(5) He died at his home, Island Bawn House, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, in 1932 and was buried in Kilruane graveyard. His wife Henrietta ('Hennie'), a native of Co. Carlow,  whom he had married at St Luke's church, Dublin, on 22 July 1886,(7) predeceased him.   At the time of the 1911 census he had five children, of whom at least three sons survived him..

ICEI:(6) elected member, 6 Apr 1881;(8) awarded Mullins Silver Medal for paper, 'The maintenance and repair of country roads in Ireland', read 7 Apr 1886;(9) council member, 1909-17,1918 until death; vice-president, 1917-18; president, 1918-19.
RSAI: elected member, 2 August 1888.(10)

Addresses: Home: 1 Eldon Terrace, South Circular Road, Dublin, <=1874-<=1881; Greenhill, Longford, 1888;(11) Island Bawn House, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, circa 1903 until death.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from ICEI membership applications, II, 87, from the obituaries of Moynan in Nenagh Guardian, 15 Oct 1932, and IB 74, 22 Oct 1932, 944, rom Maebh O'Regan, 'Moynan: the art of bridge building', Newsletter of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland 31, No. 2 (Spring 20004), 1-4, which draws on information provided by Zalie Moynan, John Moynan's granddaughter, and includes family snapshots, and from the 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Nov 2009).

(1) His third name is spelt Bonsell by O'Regan, loc. cit., above, but appears as Bonsall elsewhere; his uncle's name appears as Bonsall in the Dublin directories.
(2) W.G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913), II, 143.
(3) R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated.
(4) B.O'D.
(5) According to Maebh O'Regan, 'Moynan: the art of bridge building', Newsletter of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland 31, No. 2 (Spring 20004), 1-4, which draws on information provided by Zalie Moynan, John Moynan's granddaughter, Moynan, Gill and five other men, including Moynan's brothers-in-law Wentworth Allen and Henry Flavelle, established a malting company at Islandbawn, Nenagh, in February 1903.
(6) Nenagh Guardian, 13 Sep 1930 (B.O'D.); IB 72, 13 Sep 1930, 793.
(7) Irish genalogy: church records, www. irishgenealogy.ie (last visited, Jan 2012).
(8) From ICEI lists of officers and members unless otherwise stated.
(9) TICEI 13 (1879-1881), ?.
(10) TICEI 18 (1886-1887), Report of Council, 1887, 2.
(10) JRSAI 18 (1887-88), 421.
(11) See note 8, above.

6 work entries listed in chronological order for MOYNAN, JOHN OUSELEY BONSALL

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Date: 1890
Nature: New hall to accommodate nearly 150 persons for Lodges 65, 308 and 76 opened, 9 Sep 1890.
Refs: Irish Times, 10 Sep 1890.

Date: 1909;1910
Nature: Repainting of Crown Court, 1909. Tenders invited for erecting adds., 1910. (Court house reconstructed, 1966.)
Refs: IB 51, 24 Jul 1909, 470; B 97, 6 Aug 1910, 160 (or 169?)

Date: 1911
Nature: Designed by C.E. Stanier, London, to specification of JOM. Work supervised by Robert Paul Gill as assistant county surveyor for Co. Tipperary.  Contractors: Heenan & Froude, Worcester & Manchester (builders of the Blackpool Tower). Cost: £21,499 (?or £21,409)
Refs: J.O. Moynan, ‘A short description of the existing Bridges at Waterford and Portumna, and of the proposed new structures to replace them’, TICEI 36 (1910), 225-250;  IB 53, 18 Mar 1911, 161,185; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 219;  information from Rose Hogan, granddaughter of Robert Paul Gill, Dec 2011.

Date: 1919
Nature: Housing scheme.
Refs: IB 61, 22 Nov 1919, 533

Date: 1923
Nature: With Kaye-Parry & Ross, for Nenagh UDC.
Refs: IB 65, 5 May,28 Jul 1923, 342,589

Date: ?
Nature: JOM makes plans for labourers' cottages.
Refs: Undated plans, section & elevation for 2-storey labourers' cottages in collection of Thomas Pakenham, Tullynally (see Tullynally drawings list, P30)

Author Title Date Details
Moynan, John Ouseley Bonsall 'On the maintenance and repairs of county roads in Ireland' 1886 TICEI 17 (1885-86), 180-204.
Moynan, John Ouseley Bonsall 'A short description of the existing bridges at Waterford and Portumna and of the proposed new bridges to replace them' 1910 TICEI 36 (1909-10), 224-250, and IB 52, 25 Jun 1910, 405.
Moynan, John Ouseley Bonsall 'General Inferiority of Irish roads - the causes. Prospects of improvement' 1910 IB 52, 16 Apr 1910, 258.
Moynan, John Ouseley Bonsall 'Intercommunication in Ireland' 1919 TICEI 45 (1918-19), 1-21, and IB 61, 22 Feb 1919, 78. (Presidential address to ICEI delivered 4 Nov 1918.)
Moynan, John Ouseley Bonsall 'Road transport in Ireland' 1920 TICEI 46 (1919-20), 187-194.