Updated: Nov 23, 2021
The Old Courthouse in Ballyjamesduff was officially opened on July 5th 2021 by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Minister for Social Protection, and Minister for Justice.
We were delighted with the opportunity to meet with Minister Humphreys and discuss all the wonderful projects implemented locally, thanks to the Department of Rural and Community Development. We are happy to report that there was a lot to discuss, so we thank Minister Heather Humphreys for her generosity with her time.
A huge congratulations to the Ballyjamesduff Community Council for their dedicated work on this refurbishment. There is still a little groundwork to be completed in the coming weeks, but we are now closer than ever to opening its doors to the community.
There is so much to look forward to in this beautiful space. We can’t wait to get started!
Here is a little bit of background on this historical building! It was built in 1881 by Cavan architect and civil engineer Patrick Joseph Brady, the two-storey building held court sessions on the bottom floor and school classes above. The landlord was Robert J. Cumings from Crover House, Mountnugent, who exempted paying rent because it was a National School. Many efforts had been made to suppress schools in the previous century, and it was not yet compulsory to attend. Hence, the majority of young people did not.
Teachers were paid by the pupils' parents an annual wage of £5 - £15. The building was heated with an open fire and the fuel typically supplied by the community. The rooms were lit by oil lamps which did not give off much light.
Due to bad conditions, the building was demolished and rebuilt in 1928, as the one-storey building you see now. It remained in use as a Courthouse until 2005 and was then abandoned for several years. It was refurbished by the Ballyjamesduff Community Council and has now officially opened its doors again as a Community Hub and Heritage Center in 2021.
Teach Solais are looking forward to playing an integral role in this new facility!