Picture courtesy of Guinness Archives: Left to right, back row J. Brigden, S. Geoghegan, F.West, J.Parr, L.Witz, P. Fleisher, G.H.Sayer, Swanson, G.S. Green.
Doctor Arthur Price, Archbishop of Cashel, left 100 pounds in his will, for his godson Arthur Guinness advising that he "use the money wisely." Arthur Guinness did indeed use his inheritance wisely and he purchased a small brewery in Leixlip, County Kildare. In 1759, at the age of 34, he left the brewery to his younger brother and moved to Dublin City.
There, Guinness (pictured) decided to acquire what was then a small, disused and ill-equipped brewery at St. James's Gate, Dublin. The lease, signed on December 31, 1759, was for 9,000 years at an annual rent of £45. With diligence, clever business acumen and hard work, the Guinness brewery grew and prospered.
The steadily increasing output from Guinness’ Dublin Brewery in the Victorian era had reached such proportions by the 1870s that the movement of large quantities of heavy and bulky raw materials and waste products within the brewery was proving to be a serious obstruction to any future expansion. The existing methods (horse tramway, and horse and cart) were both slow and cumbersome and very inefficient. An observant employee named Samuel Geoghegan recognized the difficulties at the brewery and set about solving this major problem.
Knowing that the era of the horse and cart was over, he felt that speed and efficiency would be the answer. Using his skills and foresight, the young man designed and built a system of transportation that would revolutionize the movement of goods. The solution to the transport problem lay in the construction of a narrow gauge railway network serving the entire brewery. Much of the basic system was laid between 1873 and 1877 under his supervision.
With the acquisition of land between the existing brewery and the River Liffey, further expansion was able to take place, and some activities previously carried out in the old brewery were transferred there. Moreover, as this land was situated near the Kingsbridge terminus (Great Southern & Western Railway), a direct connection with the Irish railway network could be created, with barges working to and from a quay on the River Liffey.
Geoghegan, a draughtsman and mechanical engineer, was born in Dublin in 1844 or 1845. In 1861, according to the English census of that year. He was a pupil of a schoolmaster named Richard Biggs in Devizes, Wiltshire and excelled in all subjects taught there. After leaving school he served a four-year apprenticeship in England with a mechanical engineer. Work as a draughtsman and mechanical engineer in both England and Scotland followed; in the English census for 1871 he appears as a fitter in Doncaster. He then spent 18 months in Turkey as a locomotive engineer and three years on bridge work in India.
He was appointed to the engineering staff of Guinness's Brewery in 1872. By 1899, he had become head of the company's electrical and mechanical engineering staff. He retired on July 9, 1901, at the age of 56, but was retained as a consultant until February 11, 1905. After his retirement, he ran a private practice from 17 Westland Row. He got married in 1876 and had five children. Samuel Geoghegan died in 1928 or 1929.
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Don’t Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons my Father Taught Me.
The Journey: A Nomad Reflects.