Michael Doyle died in 1843 and Doyle's partner, Patrick Olligan, died in 1853.
Michael Doyle left John Brady and Patrick Reilly a half share each in his quarry, but in Patrick Olligan's case there was no clear successor within the family. The partnership running of the quarry ceased and these three individuals operated seperate quarry faces in competition with each other.
The small quarry shown abandoned on the 1838 map was being worked by Bryan Hanlon in 1853.
In 1861 Patrick Reilly sold his share of the former Doyle quarry to Peter Bryan. Reilly then purchased Olligan's quarry from his widow, giving him control of what was then the largest quarry.
In 1862 James Freeman replaced Bryan Hanlon.
In the early 1860s an economic and building boom commenced and many other quarries opened up at Ballyknockan.
1870s and 1880s - boom to bust
The boom continued until the late 1870s, and as it progressed a new generation took over the operation of the larger Ballyknockan quarries:-
By the late 1870s Ireland was flourishing and the economy was prospering. During the previous two decades rents for land had increased dramatically, in line with agricultural prices.
However, in the late 1870s the dumping of American agricultural produce on to the European market precipitated a collapse in agricultural prices. Irish landlords refused to reduce rents, so when the crops failed in Ireland in 1879 there was a crisis in the entire economy. Very soon, this led to the so-called 'Land War' in Ireland.
As the bad times continued, many of the granite quarries in Ballyknockan, especially the smaller and more recently-opened ones, went out of business. In 1880 many houses in Ballyknockan were recorded as vacant as the quarrymen and their families went elsewhere to find work.
Against this bleak background, in 1880 William Osborne took out a lease on Reilly’s former quarry, which had been surrendered to the landlord.
In the following year, 1881, William Osborne married John Brady's eldest child, Mary. This created a new partnership - an alliance between the Brady and Osborne families - which was renewed in later generations by a number of marriages between closely related members of the Brady and Osborne families and which endured until the end of quarrying at Ballyknockan 85 years late.
In May 1883, James Byrne and Widow Freeman, the owners of two small quarries, were evicted for non-payment of rent.
The quarry owners, particularly Brady and Reilly, were deeply involved in the Land League movement which aimed to achieve reductions in rents and also in the valuations of their quarries, to reflect the changed economic circumstances.
Although both valuations and rents were eventually reduced, many of the reductions did not take place until late in the 1880s, by which time massive financial damage had been done. Reductions in valuations came even later, so the recovery was slow and faltering.
In 1888 John Brien took out a lease on the former Freeman quarry which had been closed since Widow Freeman's eviction in 1883, but he had ‘very little work’ in 1890.
As the prolonged slump continued, employers sough wage reductions across all sectors of the economy. In 1891, the quarry owners at Ballyknockan tried to impose wage reductions, in line with the building industry in Dublin. This resulted in a prolonged and bitter strike in Ballyknockan which caused great hardship. Unfortunately, matters were not fully resolved and the 1891 strike was followed by another one in 1896.
After all of the difficulties from the late 1870s to the strikes of the 1890s, the peak of Ballyknockan’s success came just before John Brady’s death in 1895.
Ballyknockan granite in Dublin's buildings
It is seldom possible to determine which quarry supplied stone for a specific project. However, we can attribute the following buildings to specific quarries:-
The pinnacle of Ballyknockan's achievements is represented by the complex of buildings comprising the National Library, the National Museum, the National Gallery and the National History Museum, constructed between the 1860s and the early 1890s. The granite for the earlier buildings was supplied by Bradys and for the later buildings by Osborne and Brady. This recently completed complex was shown in a drawing prepared specially for exhibition on the United Kingdom stand at the Chicago World Fair of 1893.