John Desmond Bernal: Nenagh/Tipperary Connections


A 20th century scientist who lead and inspired major advances in our understanding of physics, biology and the role of science in history and society. He was born on the 10th May 1901 at Brookwatson, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland.

Brookwatson Nenagh: from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage:

Nenagh Plaque to J D Bernal

Prof Alan Mackay, Dr Martin Bernal, Prof Helena Sheahan and Andrew Brown in front of the Bernal Plaque, heritage centre Nenagh, Co Tipperary, May 2006.

Interconnected integrated framework of understanding.

Tabular sketch by Bernal outlining advances in science in history from 4000 BC up to the industrial revolution. Scanned from original penned version kindly provided by Alan Mackay.

Limerick Connections: Limerick Municipal Elections

: See Dorothy Hodgkins Royal Society entry/obituary on Bernal:

Bernal – Prevalence of name in Europe

From: <>

Results for Limerick Municipal elections 1872 (first time John Bernal elected) and 1896 (last time elected):
Bernal family headstone: St Mary’s Protestant Cathedral, Limerick city.

Bernal family headstone Inscriptions

In memory of my father
John Bernal,

Died 17th September 1898

My Mother Catherine
His wife, Died 26th February 1881

My brother Robert A M.D.R.N., His son died, Died 5th Oct 1876,

My sister Frances, His Daughter Died 17th March 1804

My sister Emily PFAFF Died 28th July 1912

My daughter Fiona Laetitia, died 13th March 1908 aged two months.

In loving memory of Samuel George Bernal
Who erected this stone
Born 22 May 1864. Died 18 September 1919

He was born on the 10th May 1901 at Brookwatson, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland. Brookwatson house and estate (147 acres of mixed farm and woodland) was purchased by JD’s dad, Samual Bernal around 1898. Sam developed the farm into a thriving dairy enterprise.

Typed version of ‘complexity’ table.

Architecture and Space Settlement

The Bernal Sphere – National Space Society website. Space colonies: American Space website.