The late Malachi Cullen

Influential Athlone businessman passes away

Many warm tributes have been paid to the memory of Athlone engineer and businessman Malachi Cullen, who passed away last week.

Mr Cullen, who was one of the most influential figures in the local construction sector over almost five decades, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Hillquarter, Coosan on Tuesday of last week, June 11.

The consulting engineer, who was a native of Monaghan, first started practicing in Athlone in 1970 from the branch office of Stanislaus Kennedy and Partners in the town, of which he was a founding member..

That first foray into business led to the establishment of Malachi Cullen and Partners in 1986, which was one of the most successful engineering firms across the Midlands, and provided professional design services to a wide range of civil and structural construction projects across the region over many years.

Included among the many local projects that the late Malachi Cullen provided engineering design services to was the €1.6 million community-based South Westmeath hospice on the site of the St. Vincent's Hospital in Athlone in 2007; theBallydonagh South Westmeath landfill site which was one of the first double-lined landfill facilities of its kind in the country at the time of its construction in 1991, and a project which his brother, Kevin T. Cullen, worked on as the consultant hydrogeologist; a €1.4 million facelift to Athlone's Custume Barracks encompassing a extension to the Officers Mess and 12 new bedrooms in February 2007 and a €350,000 facelift to Ss. Peter & Paul's Church in the town two years later.

Malachi Cullen and Partners also worked on an ongoing programme of projects for Athlone Institute of Technology (now TUS); Athlone Business Park; an extension to the Hodson Bay Hotel and various IDA business and technology parks, as well as providing consulting engineering services to a number of local authorities in the Midlands.

Described as “an old school gentleman” “a brilliant engineer and mentor” and someone who was “very kind and always thoughtful” in online tributes this week, the late Malachi Cullen was a keen golfer and also a very good bridge player. He was also a member of Athlone Round Table where his input and wisdom were always appreciated by members.

Malachi Cullen and Partners made headlines in 2007 when it was sold to British firm, White Young Green (WYG) in a deal with was believed to be worth in the region of €1.9 million. It was subsequently re-established as an independent entity in 2010 under the new name of Malachi Cullen Consulting Engineers Ltd (MCCE) and continues to provide professional, civil, structural and environmental engineering services, as well as a project management services, in the Midlands from its offices in Blyry.

The late Malachi Cullen was predeceased by his beloved wife, Paddy, (Patricia) in 2015 and son Desmond, and is sadly missed by his loving children Emma, Malachi, Leah, Heidi, Ivor, Inez, Adam and Graham, brothers Robert, Paul, Kevin, Michael and sister Maree (Dolan), in-laws, adoring grandchildren, his in-laws and wider family circle, neighbours and many friends.

He was laid to rest in Coosan Cemetery on Saturday last, June 15, following Requiem Mass in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.