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A Century of Courts

A Century of Courts

A century of courts logo

One hundred years ago, a new system of courts was created in Ireland. The Courts of Justice Act 1924 was signed into law on 12 April 1924, and was one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in the Free State.

The centenary will be marked on 12 April 2024 by a special event at Dublin Castle, the venue of the first sittings of the new courts.

The event includes a conference, guided tours, an exhibition and a musical performance. Speakers at the conference include academics from across the island, as well as members of the judiciary. This event is free of charge, but booking is essential.

This is a free event but registration is required. (opens in a new window)You can get tickets for this event here.

This initiative involves collaboration between the Courts Service, UCD, the Irish Legal History Society, An Post, Four Courts Press, the OPW, academics and the judiciary.

Event information:

Registration opens: 8.30 am (Exhibition and Musical performance)

Time: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

Venue: The Printworks, Dublin Castle

Speakers include:

Tom Mohr (UCD)
Mark Coen (UCD)
Robert Marshall (ind.)
Laura Cahillane (Limerick)
Daire Hogan (ind.)
Bláthna Ruane (ind.)
Niamh Howlin (UCD)
Kevin Costello (UCD)
Patricia Ryan (President of the Circuit Court)
David Barniville (President of the High Court)
Gerard Hogan (Judge of the Supreme Court)
Úna Ní Raifeartaigh (Judge of the Court of Appeal)Róisin Costello (Trinity),
Lynsey Black (Maynooth)Danielle Jefferis (Maynooth)Brice Dickson (Queen's)
Donal Coffey (Maynooth)

This list of speakers is  subject to change. The event programme will be sent to registered attendees before the event.

Later in the year,(opens in a new window)a book of essayswill be published by Four Courts Press in association with the Irish Legal History Society to further commemorate the Act.

Event Schedule*

8.30 am Registration, Exhibition, Musical Performance

9.30 am Welcome and Introductory Remarks

9.45 am Session 1

10.50 am Break, Exhibition

11.15 am Session 2

12.05 pm Session 3

1.20 pm Lunch Break, Exhibition, Guided Tours

2.45 pm Session 4

3.50 pm Session 5

5.00 pm Closing Remarks

Guided Tours

Guided Tours of Dublin Castle will show where the courts sat in 1924. The tours will operate during the lunch break from a designated assembly point.


The multimedia exhibition explores both the physical and the symbolic, and asks us to consider both reality and potential. It focuses on the location of the courts, the judiciary, high-profile trials, and symbolic commemoration.

Musical Performance

Harpist Teresa O’ Donnell will perform a selection of pieces on the Irish harp.

*Please note that the schedule is subject to change on the day.

UCD Sutherland School of Law

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.