County surveyor for Co. Roscommon, 1882-1920. Christopher John Mulvany, son of CHRISTOPHER MULVANY of Dublin, engineer to the Grand Canal Company, was born in Dublin on 4 September 1852. He served his pupilage with his father between 1870 and 1875 and from 1875 until 1877 he studied in the Engineering School of Trinity College, Dublin, obtaining the BAI degree 'with special honours'. From 1877 until March 1882 he was resident engineer for the construction of the goods terminus of the Great Southern & Western Railway at the North Wall, Dublin, under KENNETT BAYLEY . He then entered the service of the Metropolitan Board of Works, London, under Sir JOHN BAZALGETTE . During the few months that he was in London, he was engaged on surveys of the Thames with a view to flood prevention and work connected with the bridges over the river. In the autumn of 1882, he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Roscommon in succession to JAMES PERRY , after being placed first in the competitive examination for the post. He remained in office until his death.
In addition to being county surveyor, Mulvany was engineer to Roscommon, Strokestown, Tuam and Castlerea district councils. He also ran a busy private practice from Athlone, which appears to have led to some neglect of his official duties. In 1909 the Irish Builder described as 'astounding' the reply that he gave when questioned at a Local Government Board inquiry into why he had not noticed that one of his assistants was certifying work without measuring it. Mulvany asserted 'that it was impossible for him, with the staff he had at his command, to give to the business of the county the supervision it required…What he required was a qualified man competent to act as his deputy.' During the 1880s and perhaps longer, Mulvany was an examiner in practical engineering for the Civil Service Commission and and examiner of candidates for county surveyorships. He died suddenly on 16 October 1919 and was buried in the new cemetery at Roscommon. He had married his wife, Mabel, in 1891 or 1892, and left a son and two daughters. His pupils and assistants included VALENTINE DENIS DOYLE.
ICEI: elected member, 6 December 1882.
Inst.CE: elected member, 7 February 1888.
Association of Municipal & County Engineers: elected member, 3 September 1898.
Addresses: 8 Rehoboth Place, Dublin, and Roscommon, 1883; Coshla, Castlerea, Ireland, 1888; Athlone, 1896;Ganow, Athlone, 1900; Ranelagh House, Roscommon, <=1909->=1911.
Information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, archivist, from the 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Nov 2009)
and from the obituary in the Rosocmmon Messenger, 18 Oct 1919.
ICEI admissions applications, II, 101. Mulvany's more detailed account of his career at Trinity, as given in his candidate's circular for election to the Inst.CE, is as follows: while he was serving his pupilage to his father, he 'graduated in the University of Dublin, obtaining the University Moderatorship and Medal in Science. From 1875 to '77, he studied in the Engineering School of the University, and obtained the University Diploma in Civil Engineering, together with three Special Certificates of proficiency in his profession.' However R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated, lists Mulvany as having graduated BAI in 1881.
IB 51, 24 Jul 1909, ?.
Roscommon Herald, 18 Oct 1919;Roscommon Messenger, 18,25 Oct 1919 (B.O'D.).
TICEI 14 (1881-1883), ?.
Proceedings of the Association of Municipal & County Engineers 38 (1911-12), list of members, xl.
Thom's Directory (1883).
IB 38, 15 Mar 1896, 68.
Thom's Directory (1900).