97 years ago today the Four Courts, then occupied by Anti-Treaty Irregulars, was shelled by the newly formed National Army of the Free State, marking the beginning of the Irish Civil War. This week's TOTW offers an overview of this magnificent complex.
The buildings in Dublin, designed by Gandon, opened in 1796; the four courtsleading from the round hall were originally Exchequer, Chancery, King’s Bench and Common Pleas. The buildings, as extended, now comprise courts from the District to the Supreme Court, the Law Library (qv), consultation rooms of the Law Society (qv), the Central Office (qv) and other court offices. The bicentennial anniversary of the first sitting at the Four Courts was celebrated on 8th November 1996 at a ceremony attended by President Mary Robinson.
The burning of the Four Courts in 1922 destroyed many legal records which in many cases barred person from making claims to moneys paid into the court to which they may have been entitled; this is one reason for the accumulation of unclaimed assets in the funds of suitors. See SUITORS, FUNDS OF.
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