Patrick Olligan was born in 1799 and most likely trained as a stonecutter at Golden Hill. When Golden Hill closed in 1824, it was Patrick Olligan who initiated the move from Golden Hill to the new granite quarry at Ballyknockan.
The success of Ballyknockan hinged on integrating the quarrying at Ballyknockan with the transport of the stone to Dublin and the effective management of the construction projects on the Dublin building sites. Olligan implemented this approach from the beginning in the construction of St Francis Xavier church at Gardiner Street in Dublin, constructed 1829 to 1835.
To support the transport of granite from Ballyknockan to Dublin, Olligans established a transport base at Hempstown on the Dublin road about 3km north of Blessington. John Olligan, Patrick’s brother, ran the transport side of the business.
Servicing the operations on the Dublin building sites was supported from a base in Dublin, which was at Francis Street from 1844-1849.
In his 30 years of constructing granite buildings, Patrick Olligan was associated with many major projects in Dublin, but his greatest achievement was the construction of the Railway Terminals and Headquarters at Amien Street, Kingsbridge and Broadstone from 1843 to 1847, for which he has not been recognised.
Patrick Olligan died unexpectedly in November 1853 leaving no will and no obvious successor. His eldest son, Michael, then aged 19, seems to have been involved in the business for the next few years. He supplied the granite for the building of Naas chapel in 1854-55, but disappeared from the records in 1856. Patrick Olligan's four other sons had no role in the business and it limped along until Olligan's widow sold it to Patrick Reilly in 1861. This gave Reilly control of what was then the largest quarry at Ballyknockan.
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Created October 2012.