A Pressing Communication, 1881

‘Pneumatic’ is not a word commonly used in relation to the Four Courts. However, for a brief period in the 19th century, the Sub-Post Office in the Four Courts was served by the longest pneumatic mail tube in the world.

The operation of this system of delivery, based on the transmission of letters and telegrams by air pressure within a tube, was summarised in the Freeman’s Journal of 5 September 1871:-

“a piece of paper rolled up in what is called a ‘carrier’ read more

The Corridor between the Four Courts and Rear Yard Extension, 1857

The 1836 works to the Four Courts not only included fitting a new Law Library, Rolls Court and Nisi Prius Court into the back of the original building, but also involved the erection of an additional rear building comprising a Solicitors Building (situate where the current Law Library is today), Benchers’ rooms and coffee room and various Chancery offices and courts.

The construction of this rear edifice as a separate building linked to the main Four Courts by a small open passage caused read more

The First Barristers’ Robing Rooms, 1851

From the Dublin Weekly Nation, 14 August 1875, an illustration of the Liberator Daniel O’Connell exiting the original robing room of the Four Courts.

This room’s situation below the Round Hall rendered it vulnerable not only to flooding, but also to incursions by curious members of the public, one of whom was bold enough to publish the following letter of complaint in the Freeman’s Journal of 6 November 1851:

“During Term Time a person anxious for the encouragement read more

The Zoo Next Door, 1821

From Saunders’ News-Letter, 21 April 1821:

“EASTER HOLIDAYS

The Public are respectfully informed that Polito’s Grand Menagerie, is removed from Abbey Street, to Ormond-Quay, near the Four Courts, where they will be exhibited for a short time previous to their final removal from this kingdom, and in order that all classes may have an opportunity (which may not occur again) of witnessing this rare assemblage of Natural productions – the admission for Ladies and Gentlemen read more

The Original Judges’ Car Park, 1852

The annual State Trials for conspiracy and treason were a very exciting time at the nineteenth-century Four Courts.

Many members of the public of all political persuasions attended to observe and comment.  All tried to put their best face forward.  None more so than the Judges.   The style of their arrival on such occasions was so impressive as to merit the above illustration in the popular press.   Not only were the judicial means of transport slightly different from today, read more