Kinahan, George Henry (DNB12)

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KINAHAN, GEORGE HENRY (1829–1908), geologist, born in Dublin on 19 Dec. 1829, was one of the fifteen children of Daniel Kinahan, barrister-at-law, by his wife Louisa Stuart Millar. Passing out from Trinity College, Dublin, with an engineering diploma in 1853, he was employed as an assistant on the construction of the railway viaduct over the Boyne at Drogheda. In 1854 he entered the Irish branch of the geological survey, under J. Beete Jukes [q. v.], and gained an intimate acquaintance with the geology of Ireland during thirty-six years of energetic work. He became district surveyor in 1869, and a large part of the geological map on the scale of one inch to one mile is due to his personal investigation. At his death no one had so wide a knowledge of local facts of Irish geological structure, or of the history of mining and kindred enterprises in the country. Kinahan was interested also in Irish archaeology. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and served long upon its council.

Kinahan was eminent in geology as a field-worker rather than as a writer; but his books and his contributions to the 'Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Ireland' and to scientific periodicals in Ireland and England are mines of information. His style, especially in controversy, was often more vigorous than precise. His 'Manual of the Geology of Ireland' (1878) contains the results of much original observation. The classification adopted for the palaeozoic strata was modelled on certain suggestions of Jukes, and has ceased to meet with acceptance. An important compilation, largely from his own notes, entitled 'Economic Geology of Ireland,' which appeared as a series of papers in the Journal of the Royal Geological Society of Ireland, was issued separately in 1889.

Kinahan was of strong and massive build; he died at his residence, Woodlands, Clontarf, Dublin, on 5 Dec. 1908, being buried in the Protestant churchyard at Ovoca, co. Wicklow. He married Harriet Ann, daughter of Capt. Samuel Gerrard, 3rd King's own dragoon guards, and had by her three sons and five daughters.

Kinahan's smaller works are: 1. (With Maxwell Henry Close [q. v. Suppl. II]) 'The General Glaciation of Iar-Connaught,' 1872. 2. 'Handy-book of Rock-names,' 1873. 3. 'Valleys and their Relation to Fissures, Fractures, and Faults,' 1875. 4. (With A. McHenry) 'Reclamation of Waste Lands in Ireland,' 1882. 5. 'Superficial and Agricultural Geology, Ireland, 2 pts. 1908.

[Abstract of Minutes, Royal Irish Acad., 16 Mar. 1909; Geol. Mag. 1909, p. 142 (with portrait); Irish Naturalist, 1909, p. 29 (with portrait); personal knowledge.]

G. A. J. C.