Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. Conor McGinley was born on 26 June 1897, the eldest of the ten sons of Peter T. McGinley (1856-1942), a customs officer, and his wife Elizabeth Woods. His father was a leading proponent of the Irish language, president of the Gaelic League from 1923 to 1925, and a Senator in the Irish parliament from 1938 to 1940.  Conor, who lived in Co. Donegal and Belfast as a child, received his secondary education at Scoil Eanna, Rathfarnham, Dublin, and studied architecture at University College, Dublin, from 1914.  His architectural course was  interrupted by the Easter Rising of April 1916. As a member of the Irish Volunteers, he served under Patrick Pearse in the GPO and was subsequently arrested by the British authorities and held in Dartmoor and Lewes prisons before being released in April 1917.  On his release he was able to resume formal study(1) and in 1918 he entered the office of THOMAS JOSEPH CULLEN THOMAS JOSEPH CULLEN , obtaining the B.Arch. degree in 1920.(2)   Later in 1920 he was arrested again and this time was held in Ballykinlar internment camp, Co. Antrim, before returning to Cullen's office.  In May 1922 he was appointed to the staff of Dublin Corporation as Assistant City Architect(3) and in 1947 was promoted to the post of City Architect, having been acting City Architect since the retirement of HORACE TENNYSON O'ROURKE  HORACE TENNYSON O'ROURKE at the end of June 1945.  McGinley himself retired at the end of July 1959 and died on 27 March 1975. He had married Greta Flood, who was the first woman to qualify as a barrister in Ireland, in 1929, and had six children, two of whom, Cian and Irial, became architects.

AAI : member 1920-1933.(4)
RIAI:(5) student, 1924; member, 1927;  fellow, 1946 or 1947; retired fellow, 1962.(6)

Address: 108 Drumcondra Road, Dublin, from 1910 or earlier;  79 Moyne Road, Ranelagh (1929-1937); 65 Grosvenor Road, Rathgar, 1937-1963;  Walkinstown, Co. Dublin,  1963 until death.


All information in this entry not otherwise attributed was supplied by Conor McGinley's son, Irial McGinley, Cambridge, England, Aug 2014, and his daughter, Neasa Murray, January 2015.

(1) He continued to study architecture in prison, where he kept a copy of Banister Fletcher's History of Architecture.
(2) University College Dublin: Register of Graduates (1946), 122.
(3) IB 64, 20 May 1922, 325.
(4) Lists of members in AAI Green Books.
(5) From RIAI membership lists.
(6) A letter of 21 Feb 1962 from John F. Maguire, honorary secretary of the RIAI, to McGinley (in the possession of Irial McGinley) states that Maguire had been instructed by the Council 'to request you to retain membership as a retired Fellow of the Institute'.