Bindon B. Stoney

Bindon Blood Stoney was born in Co. Offaly in 1828 and graduated from Trinity College in 1850 as an engineer. His uncle William Blood was a well known mathematician and worked under Brunel on the railways in Britain. His brother, George, also graduated from Trinity and went to work on astronomy using the telescope in Birr, Co. Offaly. Bindon succeeded his brother at the Parsonstown Observatory in Birr.​

In 1854 he worked as a resident engineer on the Boyne railway viaduct, which incorporated the world’s longest girders at the time. He also produced a publication following this project on stress in girders.​

Image of Bindon B. Stoney

Stoney's design for O'Connell Bridge under construction in 1880.

© Dublin City Council

In 1856 he was appointed as assistant engineer to George Halpin Junior at the Ballast Board and became the Inspector of Works when Halpin retired in 1862. Bindon first proposed an extension of the North Wall Quay using 350 ton precast blocks. Prior to this period quay walls were constructed using cofferdams and using precast blocks was a major departure as they could be laid on a prepared dredged river bed. This method also greatly facilitated the cash flow for the Ballast Board in spreading out the financing of port development. He completed 2,133m of quay walls, north and south and created a 70 acre dry dock, called the Alexander Basin.​

He became Chief Engineer in 1868 and was responsible for the design and construction of bridges over the River Liffey, which included Essex Bridge (now Grattan Bridge) in 1875, Butt Bridge (later re-built) in 1879 and Carlisle Bridge (now O’Connell Bridge) in 1880. In addition he was a consultant engineer on the harbours of many towns and cities around the coast. He was given an honorary degree by University College Dublin in recognition of his achievements and he was elected President of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland in 1871.​ He retired in 1898 and died in 1909.​