This former Courthouse and Gaol, now a thriving arts centre, was built in Carrick-on-Shannon in 1821. Overlooking the beautiful river Shannon, the building has been fully restored, and houses a 100+ seat performance space, three art galleries, artists studios, and an arts education room. Performances, exhibitions, classes and workshops are regularly held.
Designed by William Farrell. It housed the district courts and Grand Jury of Leitrim County. The buildings were connected by an underground tunnel. The gaol, which was built in 1822 and demolished in 1968, was almost completely surrounded by the waters of the Shannon, to discourage escape. It contained solitary confinement and regular cells, a treadmill, debtor’s quarters, several areas for worship and a hospital.
The last execution held at the gaol was that of Hugo Kelly in 1847. He was convicted of being instrumental in the Molly Maguires and hanged. In 1921, during the War for independence, Peadar Kearney and Darrell Figgis were sentenced to death, but the execution never took place. A modern marina now occupies the spot where the gaol once stood.
The Dock. Image: www.dock.ie