Jackson Owens was born into the oldest family-owned business in Ireland, Carley’s Bridge Potteries in Enniscorthy in April 1924. To Jackson, pottery was a fascinating world of craft, fire and mechanics; life as an engineer was an obvious choice. By the age of 15 he had already designed and built a functioning sailing dinghy and a caravan.
Jackson went off to college, studying engineering at Trinity College Dublin and graduated in 1945, from there he began his career at Pearson Steel designing concrete structures. He was fascinated by the pairing of steel and concrete, and pre-stressed concrete construction became his great passion.
At Pearson’s he was asked to share an office with a young secretary from Waterford, Dorothy Milne. They formed a quick friendship, which turned to marriage in 1951. They were an amazing couple blessed with a great love and a desire to explore the world.
Jackson and Dorothy bought a house on Goatstown Road, and soon after they had three children. In the 1960s, Jackson’s career took off and he helped build the Kish Bank Lighthouse in Dublin Bay, Archers Garage on Fenian Street and other notable buildings, and gave papers at conventions in Naples and Paris.
Jackson joined GARLAND and was appointed a director in 1968, opening their Limerick office which was established to service the rapidly growing Shannon Free Zone and adjacent Shannon Town.
Jackson’s notable projects during his career included Krupp’s Factory, Industrial parks and buildings in Raheen, Newcastle West, Rathkeale, Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock, Roscrea, Gortlandrow in Nenagh, Thurles and Ennis, the reconstruction of Doolin Pier in 1984 and restoration works to St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick.
He acted as chairman of the Engineers Ireland Thomond Branch and was also involved with the Irish Concrete Society.
Jackson retired from GARLAND in 1987 and returned to live in Dundrum with his wife, Dorothy. He continued his association with Engineers Ireland, attending many lectures in Clyde Road where he was known for his searching questions on a wide range of topics. If it moved, turned, floated, supported, sank or was joined to something else, Jackson was interested in it. His enthusiasm knew no bounds.
Jackson Owen passed away at the great age of 98 in the wonderful care of Brabazon Trust Home in Sandymount and will be sadly missed by all those that knew him.
Visit GARLAND’s website to read more about Jackson Owen.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam