Engineer, of Dublin. John Henry Ryan, younger son and eventual heir of Thomas Ryan of Killeffernan House, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, by his first wife, Mary Grace, daughter of John Hewetson, of Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, was born on 5 January 1846. He studied engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, receiving the Licentiate in Civil Engineering in 1868. After graduating he spent several years as a railway engineer in the south and west of the United States. He returned to Ireland in 1880 and set up in private practice in Dublin. An early commission was to make a survey in connection with establishing a light railway between Drogheda and the newly developed 'Port Oriel' at Clogher Head, Co. Louth. In 1889 he was appointed engineer with EDWARD TOWNSEND for the single-track Galway and Clifden line of the Midland Great Western Railway. The line, which included a large viaduct at Galway, opened in 1895. In the same year he prepared designs for a proposed new tram line on the south side of Dublin, running from Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, to Merrion, via the Appian Way, Clyde Road and Sandymount. He was also engineer to the Tralee and Dingle Railway, the Kenmare and Headfort Railway, the West Kerry Railway and the proposed Castlecomer District Railway. In 1902 he was appointed chief engineer to the Hudson's Bay and Pacific Railway, though he appears to have retained his base in Dublin, where for a time he worked in partnership with LUCIUS JOHN BOYD . He was Government Arbitrator for the Local Government Board, the Board of Works and the Board of Trade, a member of the Arterial Drainage Commission, and, as acting Inspector for the Board of Works held inquiries on various drainage schemes. He was a member of the committee responsible for the Dublin International Exhibition in 1907 and was co-author, with GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN , of the initial report on the project. His pupils and assistants included EDWARD S. O'BRIEN.
Ryan gave up his Nassau Street office circa 1920 and died at Killeffernan on 11 May 1929. He had married Henrietta Anne, daughter of William Stewart Bellingham of Ravensdale, Co. Kildare, and The Cliffs, Howth, on 8 November 1887. He was survived by his only child, Muriel Gertrude, a First World War widow.
ICEI: elected member, 5 March 1879; re-elected member, 5 February 1896; council member, 1898->=1928; vice-president, 1899-1902; delivers paper, 'The Galway and Clifden Railway', 1 May 1901; president, 1902-3; hosts banquet for Lord Lieutenant, 17 December 1902; ; hon. treasurer, 1906-1910.
Inst.CE: elected member, 1880; elected to represent Ireland on council, 1907.
Addresses: Work: 3 Lower Merrion Street, Dublin, 1887-1890; 22 (renumbered as 39) Nassau Street, 1896->=1918. Home: 7 Leeson Park, 1887; 35 Waterloo Road, 1888-1900; 25 Herbert Place, 1907-1908; also Killeffernan House, Clonmel, <=1911 until death.
See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the entry on Ryan in E. Macdowel Cosgrave, ed., Dublin and County Dublin in the Twentieth Century (1908), 261, from the interview in IB 44, 22 May 1902, 1252, and from the obituary in IB 71, 25 May 1929, 454. A photograph of Ryan forms the frontispiece of TICEI 29 (1901-2); the same likeness accompanies the interview in IB 44 (and appears again in issue for 18 Dec 1902, 1518?), the obituary in IB 71 and an article in IB 51, 20 Feb 1909, 98, on his scheme for Falmouth Harbour.
B. Burke, Landed Gentry of Ireland (1904), 529.
R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated.
IB 30, 15 Oct 1888, 256.
Building News 69, ? ? 1895, 445; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 220.
IB 37, 1 Oct 1895, 237,247.
IB 51, 12 Jun 1909, 383.
For references to him in this capacity, see IB 42, 1 Feb 1900, 262; 43, 20 Jun 1901, ?.
IB 45, 17 Dec 1903, 3031; 46, 16 Jan 1904, 5.
This is the date in Landed Gentry of Ireland but Cosgrave gives the date as 1886.
TICEI 12 (1876-79), 133.
TICEI 25 (1895-96), 27.
TICEI 29 (1901-2), 2; IB 43, 8 May 1901, 727; 44, 17 Jul 1902, 1315. (123 IB 45, 1 Jan 1903, ?.
IB 49, 18 May 1907, 345.