Down by the (neglected) Four Courts Gardens, 1904

From the Freeman’s Journal, 2 December 1904:

“FOUR COURTS GARDENS: Sir – Having had occasion to visit the Four Courts I sauntered round the new buildings, and as I reached the rere opposite to the police offices I was forcibly struck with the neglect and apathy of the surroundings. Here there is a considerable extent of high, uncut, tufted grass, over which is scattered dirty papers etc. If these grass plots were, as they ought to be, kept as similar plots surrounding the Law courts in London are, they would be more than a pleasure to the eye in this dark neighbourhood and, if at all possible, would elevate the minds of the poor creatures to whom, unfortunately, this spot is only too familiar… I hope that this letter may cause… early attention to the matter, and that the plots will in future be kept as similar plots in like surroundings are kept across the Channel…


Things have certainly improved since Anna’s letter, with all vacant spaces in the Four Courts now clear of papers and either necessary car parking areas or beautifully tended lawns.

From a botanical point of view, the Four Courts falls short of the idyllic Inner Temple gardens depicted in the image above. The grassed over quadrangles on either side of the portico, however, offer lots of potential for floral display. The quality of the soil should be good, as the Law Library car park nearby was once a very nice cloister garden, back in the old Inns of Court and St Saviour’s Priory days.

The 16th of June may only come once a year, but it’s never too late for every day at the Four Courts to be a Bloomsday!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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