The Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, has been the centre of the Irish legal system for over 225 years. The building takes its name from the old superior courts of Chancery, King’s Bench, Equity and Common Law, which it was originally built to house. Although these four courts were subsequently merged into a single court, the High Court, the name still lives on today.
Since its opening in 1796, the Four Courts has dealt with many issues, not all of them legal: bad drains; bomb attempts; explosions, wrestling matches, canings, challenges to duels, fisticuffs, horsewhippings, battles and occupation by Irish republicans during the Easter Rising of 1916. Comprehensively destroyed during the Irish Civil War of 1922, the Four Courts was reconstructed in the 1930s along the same structural lines as the original building. It has remained in place since.
This site uses old newspaper articles and historical images to bring the reader back in time to the Four Courts of days gone by.
Posts are divided into the following categories – click on any of them to find out more.
- Interesting historical and other events which took place in the Four Courts
- The Four Courts building
- The First and Second Law Libraries
- Judges, barristers and other persons working in the Four Courts
- Interesting Irish trials and litigants in the Four Courts and elsewhere
- History of the neighbourhood in which the Four Courts is located
A short guide to the sources used in compiling the posts is available here.