Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer and architect. Samuel Kirker was born in Co. Antrim on 1 July 1854.(1) He became a pupil and subsequently an assistant of the civil engineer LUKE LIVINGSTONE MACASSEY  LUKE LIVINGSTONE MACASSEY in Belfast. After successfully sitting a competitive examination, he entered the service of the Board of Public Works as an assistant surveyor of buildings on 21 June 1881.(2) In 1883 he was a district clerk of works for Dublin city with THOMAS JOHN MELLON THOMAS JOHN MELLON , and from 1887 or earlier until 1895 he was based in Cavan,(3) where he met his wife, Alexandra Berry,and where his elder child, Mary Clarissa, was born.(4)   He was then moved to Belfast,(5) where he remained until 1911 or later, when he returned to Dublin on being promoted to the position of principal surveyor, left vacant by Mellon's retirement.(6) He was given charge of the Board's northern division. He died at his house, 3 Greenmount Road, Dublin, on 21 March 1913, survived by his wife. In a brief obituary in the Irish Builder he is described as a man of a 'kind and winning disposition', with 'an entire absence of any of that assertiveness we sometimes find associated with our northern fellow-countrymen'.   He was a subscriber to George Lister Sutcliffe,ed., The Principles and Practice of Modern House-Construction (London, 1898).(7) 

AAI: elected member, 1906; ceased membership, 1909.(8)
RSAI: elected member, 1887; elected fellow, 2 Aug 1888;(9) local secretary for South Down; vice-president, 1909;  contributor to JRSAI. JRSAI. (10)

Addresses: Work: 108 Duncairn Street, Belfast, <=1898.(11)
Home: Benevoler, Maryville Park, Belfast, <=1906->=1911;(12) 3 Greenmount Road, Dublin, at time of death.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Kirker in IB 55, 29 Mar 1913, 212 and from Frederick O'Dwyer, 'The architecture of the Board of Public Works 1831-1923', Public Works: the architecture of the Office of Public Works 1831-1987 (AAI, 1987), 26. Another notice of Kirker's death is in JRSAI 44 (1914), 89.

(1) Jones transcript from Board of Works records.
(2) See note 1, above.
(3) Thom's directories and Jones transcripts from same.
(4) 1911 census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001494136/ last visited Mar 2009). Mary Clarissa marriedDer A.J. Head in 1925, see Irish Times, 26 Feb 1925.
(5) Rena Lohan, Guide to the Archives of the Office of Public Works (OPW, 1994), 40.
(6) See note 3, above.
(7) MS list of  subscribers from Belfast and other towns in the northern counties  (photocopy in IAA, Acc. 2009/066). 
(8) Membership lists in AAI Green Books.
(9) JRSAI 24 (1894), list of members.
(10) 'Cloughoughter Castle, Co. Cavan', JRSAI 21 (1890), 294-297; 'Mediaeval Seal Ring', JRSAI 23 (1893), 424; 'Point of resemblance between some recent dicoveries in Greece and ancient remains in Ireland', JRSAI 24 (1894), 271-279; 'A souterrain at Ballywillan, Co. Londonderry', JRSAI 33 (1903), 191.
(11) See note 7, above.
(12) See note 8, above.

3 work entries listed in chronological order for KIRKER, SAMUEL KERR

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Date: 1900
Nature: New class rooms.
Refs: IB 42, 1 Jan 1900, 226

Date: 1905
Nature: New school comprising schoolroom and two classrooms, vestibule and cloakroom, lavatories & latrines. Tenders invited Apr 1905. Memorial stones laid June 1905. Contractor: James Kidd, Belfast.
Refs: B 88, 8 Apr 1905, 394; 89, 1 Jul 1905, 20

Date: 1912
Nature: New coastguard station at mouth of River Boyne, for Commissioners of Public Works.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0914, B21/79