The Registrar who Knew Joyce, 1937

From the Irish Press, 19 October 1937 (photo above):

“The ceremony of opening the new revolving doors at the Chancery Place entrance to the High Court was performed by Mr CP Curran, Senior Registrar, in the absence of the Master of the High Court yesterday.

The doors are the first of the kind to be manufactured entirely in Ireland. The work was carried out by Messrs TR Scott & Co, Contractors and Cabinet Makers, 33 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin. The cabinet work is of teak wood with rolled bronze fittings. The plans and designing are the work of Mr George Osborne, architect of the Board of Works. The work was supervised by Mr Robert Collins, supervisor attached to the Four Courts for the Board of Works.”

The rebuilt and modelled Four Courts had reopened in 1932. The doors were installed shortly before the judges took their declarations of loyalty to the new Constitution of 1937. Mr Curran was also present on this occasion, along with two very interested spectators – Mary and Ann, the little daughters of Mr Justice O’Byrne. I wonder if either of them are still alive?

Mr Curran, affectionately known as ‘Con,’ retired in 1952 after almost fifty years’ service as a Registrar. He had entered the Four Courts by competitive examination in 1902, subsequently serving as Registrar of the Court of King’s Bench. In 1910 he was called to the Bar and in 1938 he took silk. In 1946 he was appointed to the position of Registrar to the Supreme Court. A retirement notice in the Irish Examiner of 13 October 1952 describes him as follows:

“His wide knowledge of procedure was always at the disposal of the enquirer, and was given with a goodwill and old world courtliness that made it a pleasure to enter his office even on the most trivial matter.”

Outside work, Mr Curran was described by the Irish Press of 10 May 1954 as an art connoisseur with an international reputation and one of the most learned and liveliest authorities on old Dublin. He was also a good friend of James Joyce, and took the famous yachting cap photograph of him below. More about the Joyce connection here.