Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Newcastle West, Co. Co. Limerick, and Limerick city. Denis McCarthy's career is related in an article entitled 'A lucky architect' in The Builder for 27 April 1878.(1) According to this source, he was born in Cork(2) and was apprenticed to the building firm of Dickson & Taylor in that city. 'At an early age' he set up on his own account in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, and 'after several years of close application' was appointed architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, a post which he held until the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. He subsequently practised as an architect in Limerick, where he built Barrington Terrace. His luck came in 1878, when he unexpectedly inherited a very large fortune from his first cousin, Charles Robert O'Keefe, an opium trader in Allahabad. According to the Irish Times of 27 April 1878 he was 'not yet forty' when he inherited his fortune but already had eighteen children!

Whether McCarthy continued to practise as an architect after this windfall is not recorded. He appears as a builder and contractor, of Barrington Street, Limerick, and 'The Cottage' in William Bassett's Directory of Limerick for 1877 but in the 1879 edition only W.J. McCarthy, builder, of Woodbine Cottage, North Strand, is listed.(3)



(1) B 36, 27 Apr 1878, 436.  Another account of McCarthy's unexpected inheritance is in the Irish Times, 18,24,27 Apr 1878.
(2)   The Irish Times, 27 Apr 1878, gives his place of birth Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick.
(3) Information from Michael Maguire, Limerick City Library.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for MCCARTHY, DENIS P.

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Date: 1878a
Nature: Built by D.P. McCarthy 'on his own account'.
Refs: B 36, 27 Apr 1878, 436