Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. Arthur Ormsby was born at Seatown House, Dundalk, in February 1825, the youngest son of the Rev. Owen Ormsby, of Kilmore and Grange, Co. Roscommon. After being educated by a private tutor, he was articled for five years to GEORGE HALPIN[2] GEORGE HALPIN[2] . He was then engaged for a year by Sir JOHN MACNEILL  JOHN MACNEILL to prepare plans for the Great Southern & Western Railway. After further railway experience as resident engineer for a section of the Midland Great Western Railway under G.W. HEMANS HEMANS , and other short appointments which included work on the Dublin, Wicklow & Wexford Railway under ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL , he emigrated to the United States, where he was engaged on a number of different railway projects including the Hoosac tunnel. Poor health forced him to return to Ireland when he was only twenty-six, but after a few months he left for Melbourne to take up the position of assistant colonial engineer. Never long in one place, he worked subsequently in New Zealand, Mauritius and India, where he became executive engineeer in the Public Works Department of the Government of India. He held the latter post from 1858 to 1861, when the appointment was abruptly cancelled. He returned to England an embittered man, believing that he had been unjustly treated. Subsequently he interested himself in schemes for the supply of drinking water from rainwater, and in promoting the construction of a tunnel between Scotland and the north of Ireland along lines first proposed by Captain W. Macbay in 1866. He was working on this project when he died on 24 February 1887.

Inst.CE: elected member, 3 Febrary 1863.
RIA: elected member, 1847; no longer a member after 1852.(1)


All information in this entry is from the obituary of Ormsby in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 89 (1886-87, iii), 479-481. For this family see also Burke's LGI (1904), 465-6.

(1) Jones transcripts from lists of RIA members in Thom's directories.