McCarthy, J(ames) J(oseph)
- Jeanne Sheehy
(b Dublin, Jan 6, 1817; d Dublin, Feb 6, 1882).
Irish architect. He was educated at the Christian Brothers’ School, Dublin, and entered the Figure and Ornament Schools of the Royal Dublin Society in 1834. In 1837 he moved to the Architecture School and in the same year began to exhibit designs at the Royal Hibernian Academy. He was articled to the architect William Farrell (d 1852). He probably spent the years 1843–6 in England, where he came under the influence of A. W. N. Pugin and the Ecclesiological movement. By 1846 he was back in Ireland and embarked on his first major commission, St Kevin’s, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, which he described as ‘the first uncompromisingly true church of the old type erected in the archdiocese of Dublin’. It followed Ecclesiological recommendations for a small rural church, with a nave and carefully differentiated chancel, a bell cote, south porch and a sacristy, and was built of local granite with limestone dressings. He planned a richly decorated interior, with rood screen, sedilia and founder’s tomb, stained glass, encaustic tiles and stencilled walls, but little of this was achieved. St Kevin’s launched McCarthy on a successful career. His religion was no disadvantage, as the Catholic church began a vigorous building campaign. McCarthy was a skilled self-publicist, writing about the new architecture in Duffy’s ...