Aonghus O hEocha was born in Co. Waterford in 1930. His father, Seamus, was a member of the Gaelic League who was instrumental in the setting up of the Irish College in Ring. He served in Seanad Eireann for a period. Aonghus graduated in civil Engineering in UCC in 1951, and he mentions the fact that he was Vice President of the Students’ Union during his college years as well as Reachtaire (Auditor) of the Cumann Gaelach, gold medal debate winner and Deputy Editor of The Quarryman, the Students Newspaper.
He clearly recalls college life in those days. His initial employment from 1951 to 1953 was with O’Connell Harley, Consulting Engineers in Cork, and he describes his first job in surveying a 40-acre field which was to be the site of the new Cork Regional Hospital. He left Ireland to work in tunnelling in Scotland on a hydro electrical project before returning to work in Dublin with Delap and Waller, Consulting Engineers, where he worked in design including Marine works. He later worked in Foynes Port in Co limerick and in 1957 he left Ireland once more to work with George Wimpey & Co. in London. He worked on the Ross Tewksbury Motorway in 1958 and 1959 where he was involved in the construction of bridges over a motorway near Hereford which he describes as a great experience. In 1959 he founded the practice in Dublin and in 1961 extended the practice to Manchester and shortly afterwards to London and Lagos, Nigeria. He discusses in detail the origins of the company.
He describes the work in infrastructure undertaken just after independence in Lagos in Nigeria by the company. In 1967 an association was formed with De Leuw Cather of Canada, a leading transportation consultancy. In the 1970’s he was successful in bringing together sixteen smaller engineering consultancy firms as Irconsult to source work outside of Ireland. He served as chairman and the work continued for some ten years.