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George Halpin

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George Halpin (Sr.) (1779? – 8 July 1854), was a prominent civil engineer and lighthouse builder, responsible for the construction of much of the Port of Dublin, several of Dublin's bridges, and a number of lighthouses; he is considered the founding father of the Irish lighthouse service. His son, George Halpin (Jr.), was also a well-known lighthouse builder.

Very little is known of Halpin's early life, though it is known that his background was in the building trade rather than in engineering.

In 1800, he was made the Inspector of Works for the Dublin Ballast Board (the predecessor to the Commissioners of Irish Lights), succeeding Francis Tunstall, and in this capacity was responsible for a number of works. One of these, the Bull Wall, along with associated projects, led to the creation of Bull Island in Dublin Bay, and enabled deep-draught ships to use the port for the first time.

Halpin was appointed the Inspector of Lighthouses in 1810. Between then and 1867 Irish lighthouses increased from fourteen to seventy-two under his direction. He established 53 new lighthouses, in addition to modernising a further 15: his projects included the Baily Lighthouse, the second Mew Island Lighthouse, and the Skelligs Lighthouse. He also set up the Irish lighthouse service's administration and management procedures, regularised employment of lighthouse keepers, and continued to oversee the development of Dublin's port.

1835 George Halpin of The Ballast Board, Dublin, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1854 Died on 8th July 1854, in his 80th year [2]

Buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin. He was succeeded as Inspector of Lighthouses by his son.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1835 Institution of Civil Engineers
  2. London Standard, Tuesday 11 July 1854