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 City Digital Archives. This one shows a warmly dressed gent (perhaps a solicitor up from the country?) entering the door of the Four Courts Hotel in the 1960s. It must have been very handy for lawyers to have a hotel so close to the courts.

The same site today, courtesy of google maps, with the Four Courts Hotel demolished and replaced by the very brown legal building Áras Uí Dhálaigh. Hidden below ground in all the above photos is the ancient graveyard of St Saviour’s Priory which pre-dated the Four Courts by a number of centuries. Skeletons surface occasionally!

A card advertising the hotel, again from Dublin City Digital Archives. The Four Courts’ Hotel started life in the early 19c as the Angel Hotel, its name changing later. For some information about its early owners, the Bergin family, have a look at this great twitter thread by @rea esten.

One 19c Donegal lawyer began life as a boot-boy at the hotel and went on to a brilliant legal career before returning in his decline, with tragic consequences.

Another scandal attaching to the hotel occurred when a manager, Mr Kilbey, was charged with watering down whiskey in 1921. Mr Barror, the manager of the Four Courts tearoom, was charged with the same offence around the same time. Maybe a bad batch?! Image above via South Dublin Libraries. You can’t see it from this side, but there was a big advertising hoarding on the eastern side of the hotel.

Here’s the sign mentioned, just visible behind some trees. In true vintage form, it’s advertising Bovril.

The street between the Bovril sign and the west wing of the Four Courts is Morgan Place. At the time of this photo, it had yet to be incorporated into the Four Courts complex. Read about the history of Morgan Place and track its evolution on maps here.

An article on archaeological excavations carried out on part of the site of the Four Courts hotel in the 1970s is available here for those with access to JSTOR.

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

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