As It Was: Images of 145-151 Church Street, 1860 to date

This beautifully coloured image below, from Dublin City Digital Archive, shows the rear portion of the Law Library Distillery Building, 145-151 Church Street, when it really wasa distillery, owned by John Jameson & Co. You can zoom in on it even more closely here.

Jameson acquired the site 145-51 Church Street in 1911 and almost immediately demolished a considerable portion of the existing buildings on the site. The Distillery was then extended onto most of the now-vacant site.

Sadly, the read more

Inns Quay Before Áras Uí Dhálaigh: Images of the Four Courts Hotel

Some photos showing a 1960s/70s Inns Quay, from the Dublin City Digital Archive. This one from Dublin City Digital Archive shows the Four Courts Hotel in place of today’s Áras Uí Dhálaigh.

William Mooney’s close-up of the hotel in the 1960s. Mr Mooney’s comprehensive photo archive of Dublin is accessible to all through Dublin City Digital Archive. We owe him a debt of gratitude!

Another photo of Inns Quay by William Mooney, via Dublin read more

A Place of Trees: Dublin 7, 1066-1750

From Country Life, 1903:

“Though Ireland is now perhaps the worst wooded country of Europe, it at one time was rich in forests.  Before the invasion of the English, splendid woods were to be found round Eblana, as Dublin was then called.  The fair green of Oxmantown was once covered with woods that extended westward over the whole of what is now the Phoenix Park, that William Rufus drew the timber for the roof of Westminster Hall, where, as the chronicle of Dr. Hanmer has read more

Inquest in 158 Church Street After Unexpected Courtship Tragedy, 1858

From the Weekly Freeman’s Journal, 25 December 1858:


On Sunday night last one of the most distressing melancholy accidents that could well occur took place by which a respectable young man of the name of Michael Murphy, son of Mr Laurence Murphy, Ironmonger, of Church Street lost his life.  The deceased, who bore a very high character, was betrothed to a young lady named Mary Lawler, residing at Buckingham Street, and was to have been married within a month. read more

Lord Leitrim’s Hearse Attacked by Mob in Church Street, 1878

From the Irishman, 13 April 1878:


The remains of the late Earl of Leitrim arrived at St Michan’s Cemetery, Church Street, Dublin, about half-past two o’clock.  When the remains came into Church-Street the hearse was surrounded by two or three hundred persons, mostly comprised of the middle and lower classes.  On the funeral cortege coming to a halt a scene of great disorder was witnessed, popular feeling being strongly manifested by the crowd, who pushed, read more

In the Footsteps of Kings: Chancery Place, 1224-1916

Chancery Place, on the eastern side of the Four Courts, was originally a much narrower street known as Mass Lane.  The buildings on its western side sat close against the eastern wing of the Four Courts until they were demolished by the Commissioners of Public Works in the early 19th century. The above image from the 1840s shows Chancery Place following these changes and – aside from differences in vehicles, costume, and traffic regulation, and the replacement of the perimeter wall read more

The Brats of Mountrath Street, 1867-1890

From the Freeman’s Journal, 27 May 1867:


Dear Sir-

I beg, through the medium of your influential journal, to call the attention of the authorities to an assemblage of ill-behaved boys and girls that meet nightly at the corner of the above mentioned localities, throwing stones and making use of the most obscene language to passers-by.  Whilst passing through Chancery-place from my business the other evening I was struck with a stone and cut severely.  read more

The ‘Cleansing’ of Bull Lane, 1878

From the Freeman’s Journal, 1 March 1879:

During the past few months, quietly and unknown to the general public, a work has been in progress in Dublin calculated to materially benefit the city.  By a judicious use of the authority vested in them and a rigid exercise of their legal powers, the police have succeeded in thoroughly cleansing that den of infamy, a disgrace known as Bull-Lane. 

The existence of this moral plague spot has been for very many years a shame to civilisation read more

The Goat of Morgan Place, 1881

From the Freeman’s Journal, 22 April 1882:


A fish dealer named Ennis was charged by Police Constable 69D with having stolen a goat, the property of Mr Alexander Blyth, Four Courts.  A workman named Michael Higgins, in the employment of the Board of Works, stated that he saw the prisoner take the goat away, which was grazing on the plot of grass near the law courts in Morgan Place, about twelve o’clock today.  Witness followed the prisoner and gave read more

The Fighting Herb Doctors of Church Street and Parnell Street, 1852

From the Freeman’s Journal, 4 May 1852:

“John McDonnell, of Church-Street, ‘herb doctor’ and ‘professor,’ appeared to sustain a complaint against Michael Gafney, ‘herb doctor and universal practitioner,’ for an alleged violent assault.

The complainant professing in this instance to have been assaulted was a low-sized dark visaged young man, rather decently attired, but his mode of stating his complaint at once evinced his contempt of the generally received system of education.

Both read more