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Sketch Artist and Court Reporter competition

Students can enter our 'Court Sketch Artist and Court Reporter' competition and be in with a chance to win a prize at the end of the school year.

Congratulations to the winners of the competition for the 2013/2014 academic year.


Winner of the Sketch Artist Competition 2013/14:
Caoimhe Devaney, Holy Child School, Killiney, Co. Dublin.

Sketch Artist Winner 2014


 Winner of the Court Reporter Competition 2013/14:
Kevin Quinn, St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall, Dublin 9.  

Court report graphic
This was an assault case heard in the Circuit Criminal Court.  Mr. Sam Beckham is accused of assaulting Mr. Jody Gerard at a football match.

DPP v Sam Beckham

The court heard the case of DPP v Sam Beckham on the 2nd May 2014 for the assault of Jodi Gerrard. The defendant pleaded not guilty. The judge read out Section 3. The prosecution gave their opening statement. The first witness called was a Mr. Jodi Gerrard. He made the case that Sam Beckham struck his collarbone and that his injury has put him out of work temporarily. Mr. Gerrard did not consume alcohol before the incident.


The second witness was a Carlos Carragher, he claimed to have seen Mr. Beckham striking Mr. Gerrard. The defence claimed that Mr. Beckham’s actions were in self defence.

The third witness was Mr. Beckham. His claim was that the men were shouting abuse and hit his children in the back of the head and he acted out of concern for his children. The fourth and final witness was a Mr. Fran Messi, who claimed to be sitting beside Mr. Beckham. He believed that his actions were justified as Mr. Gerrard and Mr. Carragher’s chanting had frightened Mr. Beckham’s children.

The defendant was found guilty and was sentenced to 2 years, 12 months suspended sentence and a €1,000 fine.




The Duke of Rutland at the laying of the foundation stone for the Four Courts 1786

In 1786, the winter was severe. Cold northerly winds blew through the city streets, bringing showers of sleet and snow. After Christmas there were heavy falls, but the labourers worked on, clearing the site and digging the foundation trenches of the Four Courts. Half-starved and clad in ragged clothes, many in bare feet, they laboured to feed their families at all costs. During the first week in March, the streets were deep in slush and half-frozen snow, and in this bitter weather, the foundation stone for the Four Courts was laid.  (extract from ‘James Gandon and his times’ – reproduced with permission of Gandon Editions Kinsale).

  Laying of the foundation stone by Michael Moriarty




Welcome to 'Hell' by Michael MoriartyIn 1608 the courts moved to a new home in the grounds of Christ Church and in the adjoining Christ Church Place. To gain entry visitors had literally to go through 'Hell'. Christchurch was at one time surrounded by a warren of narrow lanes and alleyways. One of these passages to the west of the cathedral known as 'Hell' is said to have taken its name from underground cellar known by the same name. A large wooden statue of the devil adorned the arched entrance to the alley.

'Hell' by Michael Moriarty 



Civil War'Statute Barred' by Michael Moriarty

During the civil war, which followed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Four Courts was almost completely demolished.  An irreparable loss was the destruction of the Public Records Office adjoining the Four Courts.  Priceless legal and historical records were lost, including the complete records of the Irish Parliament, the original wills of every Irish testator from the 16th century, and the registers of hundreds of Irish parishes.

   Bombardment of the Four Courts by Michael Moriarty



The courts today

The Four Courts Revealed by Michael MoriartyToday the hall and dome of the Four Courts are largely as Gandon left them. The interior decoration was, however, much richer before the civil war damage of 1922. The building continues to house courts, court offices, and the Law Library.






'Courts of Justice' - art and history in unison

Supported by the Courts Service and the Bar Council, junior and senior art students from St. Paul's Secondary School, Greenhills, Dublin produced some amazing work on the theme 'Courts of Justice'. The exhibition was initally held in the Atrium of the Bar Council's Distillery Building in March 2010 before transferring to the Criminal Courts of Justice for the following 12 months. The following examples from the exhibition illustrate the imagination and creativity of the students. Using a variety of media and techniques such as paint, thread, paper quilling, collage and calligraphy together with a serious amount of imagination, they produced a wonderful collection of artwork in framed picture and model format.


 Legal Chess by Joanne Heade

'Legal Chess' by Joanne Heade

The design illustrates the magnificent black and white floor of the Round Hall in the Four Courts. It is like a chess board. Barristers are very strategic in conducting their cases. Like chess they try to anticipate and react to every move by 'counsel' for the 'other side'. But the common goal is to ensure that justice is served as depicted by the scales of justice.

 3D Courtroom Tactics by Phoebe Dunne and Annemarie Brennan

'3D Courtroom Tactics' by Pheobe Dunne & Annemarie Brennan

Our design consists of a 3D abstract representation of a trial. The floor design in the Round Hall was used to create a chess board. The 'pawns' represent the prosecution and defence. The design demonstrates that in conducting a trial various 'strategies' are used by barristers. 

 A right to be alive by Anna McSweeney

'A right to be alive' by Anna McSweeney

My design conveys the message that no-one has the right to take the life of another. The quill symbolises the fact that many laws which have been enacted both past and present try to protect citizens against crimes such as murder. 

 Justice in Equilibrium by Kim Kelly

'Justice in Equilibrium' by Kim Kelly

The design depicts the Irish flag, a symbol of the Irish State and Nation. It is raised and supported by scales, a symbol of law and justice. The Irish flag is equally balanced on both sides of the scales demonstrating the importance of the Irish legal system in maintaining peace, order and societal equilibrium.

  Paper Trial by Anastasia Azareva 

'Paper Trial' by Anasatasia Azareva

My design depicts various architectural features visible in the Four Courts. The dome, the lamp post and a door. The process of incorporating these features into the design involved 'paper quilling' a technique commonly used in Eastern Europe.

 An 'Air' of Justice by Hannah Dillon

'An 'Air' of Justice' by Hannah Dillon

My design depicts the 'harp' with Celtic designs sown into it. The harp emphasis's Irish Law in particular. The acquisition & knowledge of law is a process akin to learning a musical instrument - patience, practice and fine-tuning. 

James Gandon by Kerrie-Anne Roche

Kerrie-Anne Roche presenting her painting of James Gandon to
Mr. Justice Peter Kelly as a gift to the Courts Service.