Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Military engineer and expert in fire engineering. James Comerford was born in Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny in 1899 and educated at Rockwell College and University College Dublin. He obtained the BSc and BE degrees in 1921. From 1921 to 1922 he was a Demonstrator in geology at UCD. In 1922 received the MSc degree and in the same year joined the army as a junior subaltern in the Railway Protection, Repair and Maintenance Corps,. A year later he transferred to the Corps of Engineers with the rank of captain and was posted to the Curragh Command, where among other duties he had charge of the Curragh Military Fire Brigade. In 1925 he was recalled to Dublin and promoted to commandant, subsequently returning to the Curragh as commandant of the School of Engineers and chief instructor in engineering subjects at the Military College. In October 1937 he was appointed director of military engineering with the rank of major. The following year he was seconded from the Army to take over and reorganize the Dublin fire brigade and in November 1939 was appointed superintendent of the Dublin City Fire Services. During the war he was responsible for air raid protection and for the formation and training of the auxiliary fire service throughout the country. In March 1948 he was appointed fire adviser to the Minister for Local government,(1) a post which he held until his death in 1950. He was survived by his wife and three children.

ICEI: elected associate member, 5 January 1925;(2) transferred to member, 2 November 1931;(3) delivered paper on air raid precautions on 3 March 1941(4) and another on structural aspects of fire resistance on 5 March 1945.(5)

Address: Annanaar, Clonskeagh Road, Dublin, 1946.(6)


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Comerford in TICEI 77 (1950), 174. A briefer obituary is in IB 92, 30 Sep 1950, 1058

(1) IB 90, 20 Mar 1948, 206.
(2) TICEI 51 (1926), 60.
(3) TICEI 58 (1932), 1.
(4) TICEI 67 (1941), 123-144
(5) TICEI 71 (1945), 161-182.
(6) University College Dublin: Register of Graduates (1946), 27.