NOONAN, JOHN JOSEPH
- Born: 1879/80 Died: -
County surveyor for North County Mayo from March 1911 until October 1921. According to the 1911 census, John Joseph Noonan was born in Co. Galway in 1879 or 1880. He was working as an inspector for the Congested Districts Board when he was selected for the post of county surveyor for north Co. Mayo in March 1911, having passed the qualifying examination the previous December. The decision to appoint him from among eight short-listed candidates was made at an informal gathering of the members of the county council held at a local hotel immediately before the council's quarterly meeting. The reasons given by his proposer for choosing him from among eight qualified candidates were that he came from a Nationalist family, was a Co. Mayo man - he had let it be understood that he was a native of Ballyhaunis - and was exceptionally brilliant.(1) None of the other candidates was put forward, and Noonan's appointment was uncontested at the council meeting later in the day. The choice proved to have been a bad one. During the next ten years Noonan's relations with the county council deteriorated to the point when, at the annual council meeting in June 1921, he was accused of impudent and unmanly conduct, of lecturing the council and of neglecting his business. A public inquiry was held in September 1921 by the inspectors of the Dail Eireann Department of Local Government, who recommended that he should be dismissed immediately. He was duly relieved of his post at a council meeting on 17 October, on the grounds of unjustifiable delays, repeated insubordination, gross irregularities and continuous neglect of correspondence. His later career is not recorded. At the time of the census in April 1911, he was living on his mother-in-law's farm at Tawnyrover, Co. Roscommon, with his wife Mollie, née Meldon, whom he had married a year previously, and infant son.
Inst.CE: member by 1922; no longer a member by 1925.
All information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from the 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Nov 2009) and from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 269-70.
(1) Connaught Telegraph, 4 Mar 1911; Building News 100, 17 Mar 1911, 382.