- Born: 1886 Died: 1948
County surveyor for Co. Kildare, 1915-1944. John Rorke was born in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin on 2 January 1886(1) and was educated at Clondalkin Monastery and Belvedere College, Dublin. He received his professional training at the Royal College of Science, Dublin, and Queen's College, Galway, from which he graduated with the BE degree of the Royal University of Ireland in 1909. In the same year he was appointed an assistant surveyor to Meath County Council under JAMES QUIGLEY.& #160;Two years later, in 1911, he became an assistant engineer to the Congested District Board. In April 1914 he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Laois in succession to THOMAS WALSH , but held the position only briefly, being transferred to Co. Kildare the following December after the resignation of EDWARD GLOVER . He remained in the dual role of county surveyor and drainage engineer of Co. Kildare until his retirement on account of ill- health in April 1944. He died in Dublin on 11 May 1948.
During his thirty years of service in Co. Kildare, Rorke's most notable achievement was the improvement of the road system of the county. He was highly regarded as a roadmaker, and his concrete road through the bog between Kildare and Monasterevin, built in 1928, was particularly admired. His responsibilities also included the maintenace of the Barrow Drainage District. He was an active member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland. According to his obituarist he 'was so enthusiastic about his work that he had very little time for recreation, but during the shooting season, there was no keener sportsman, and he was an expert gardener'.
ICEI: elected member, 1918; member of council, 1930-1938; awarded Mullins Gold Medal for his paper, 'Road Making Practice in Ireland', read 1936; vice-president, 1938-1944.
Addresses:(2) Work: Court House, Naas, <=1933-1944.
Home: Johnstown, Straffan, Co. Kildare, <=1920-1929; The Bungalow, Monread, Naas, Co. Kildare , <=1947 until death.
See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 291-2, and from the obituary of Rorke in TICEI 74 (1947-48), 370.
(1) The obituary does not name his father; the only Rorke listed as a resident of Clondalkin in the Post Office Dublin Directory for 1896 is Laurence B. Rorke, esq., of Knockmitten.
(2) From lists of members of ICEI in TICEI and Thom's directories.
1 work entries listed in chronological order for RORKE, JOHN
|Building:||CO. KILDARE, KILDARE, COUNTY INFIRMARY|
|Nature:||Tenders invited. Plans may be inspected at office of Co. Surveyor, JR (i.e. not necessarily his design)|
|Refs:||IB 62, 10 Apr 1920, 226|
|Rorke, John||'Roads and their surfacing'||1924||IB 66, 8 Mar 1924, 201.|
|Rorke, John||'Road making practice in Ireland'||1936||TICEI 62 (1935-36), 159-180.|