Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Co. Monaghan, 1912-1947. James Joseph Hannigan, a son of James Hannigan of Ballbofey, Co. Donegal, was educated at St Columb's College, Derry, and studied engineering at Queen's College, Galway, obtaining the BE degree with honours.(1) In 1905 he was appointed to the Congested Districts Board.(2) He then spent a short time in England and New York. In August 1908 he applied unsuccessfully for the county surveyorship of Co. Offaly(3) and in 1911 he was a short-listed but unsuccessful candidate for the surveyorship of north Co. Mayo,(3) and the runner-up for the the surveyorship of Co. Carlow. The following year he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Monaghan,(4) a post which he held until his retirement in 1947.(5) His energy and enterprise were especially evident during the fuel shortage of the second world war, when he rapidly opened up large but previously almost inaccessible turf banks in mountainous areas of Co. Monaghan, which relieved the severity of the shortage in the county.

Hannigan's enterprise found expression in other ventures. He discovered a large deposit of gypsum at Kingscourt, Co. Monaghan, and founded the Gypsum and Bricks Co., later Gypsum Industries Ltd., to exploit it. He remained a director of the company until his death. He also interested himself in the development of a turf industry in Co. Monaghan and of a marble industry in Co. Donegal and established the Farney Development Company which undertook mining exploration in Co. Monaghan.(6) He worked for several years on a new method of laying out transitional curves. He died in his seventies on 26 May 1964 and was buried in Latlurcan Cemetery, Monaghan, after a funeral in St Macartan's cathedral. He was unmarried.

Address: 'Cill Dara', Tirkeenan, Monaghan, at time of death.


All information in this entry no otherwise accounted for is from the obituaries of Hannigan in Engineer's Journal 17, July 1964, 320 and Northern Standard, 29 May 1964, which is accompanied by a portrait photograph (B.O'D.).

(1) IB 47, 16 Dec 1905, 913.
(2) See note 1, above.
(3) Midland Tribune, 28 Aug 1909 (B.O'D.).
(3) Connaught Telegraph, 4 Mar 1911 (B.O'D.).
(4) IB 54, 11 May 1912, 292.
(5) B.O'D.
(6) Peadar Livingstone, The Monaghan Story (1980), 431 (B.O'D.).