Ballinrobe's Pop-up Museum

Courthouse/Market House - Board 2

By Averil Staunton

Dr. Sheila Mulloy of Westport was of the opinion that “Ballinrobe Courthouse was the only one in the country unchanged since 1798”


The Market House/Courtrooms was rebuilt c. 1752. Many important events occurred in this building including cases where Irish men and women were sentenced to death or transportation to the New World, with most cases conducted in English. Fear was instilled in people in the 20th centuryby the threat “I’ll see you under the clock”.

The Boycott Trial

An interesting case examined in the Courtroom was that of ‘agitators’ who were accused of attempting to injure Captain Boycott (Lough Mask House). The Land League events were of such world-wide interest, that many international newspapers dispatched reporters to cover the events.

Reporters & Artwork 

The artist Charles William Cole (fl.1880-1905) stayed in Ballinrobe and drew many sketches of daily activities and reported on the mood of the locals during the trials for the Graphic Newspaper, London. These sketches give us an indication of the number of army personnel who were moved into Ballinrobe and the area to protect the 50 Orangemen who participated in the Boycott Relief Expedition 12th-26th November,1880; also his departure from the area.

Adding a Work to the English Language

Fr. John O’Malley is credited by Michael Davitt as having adopted the verb “to Boycott” and that already the stoutest hearted are yielding on every side to the dread of being Boycotted”.

Irish Green Flag with Uncrowned Harp

  Another interesting event occurred at a quarterly meeting of the local district council held on the 25th November, 1899. Mr. Peter Regan flew “the Green Flag with an uncrowned Harp” from the Courthouse window to the applause of a large crown outside. Having been warned by Mr. Hearne C.P.S. to remove it, Mr. Regan would not do so, so the Head Constable Nash was called but, by the time he arrived, the flag had been squirreled away safely.


Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ballinrobe's Pop-up Museum' page
This page was added by Averil Staunton on 23/01/2014.
Comments about this page

Well done Averil, you have made a huge step forward in bringing the life and soul back into our beautiful town . What an interesting and exciting way to highlight our eventful and colourful past. This indeed is a town with a heratage we should all be proud to be a part of. Keep up the good work.

By Patsy Murphy
On 16/03/2014

I think the pop-up museum is a brilliant idea! All museums have more than they can ever display.This idea might also allow those objects/stories/documents to see the light of day? 

Hope you don't mind if I 'steal your idea' and pass it on to our local museum here in Port Macquarie, NSW Australia!

By gerry walsh
On 25/01/2014