Mullingar Courthouse is an accomplished Italianate classical building, constructed 1824-28 to designs by John Hargraves (c. 1788-1833). The courthouse occupies a constrained site and is prominently located opposite the County Buildings and the site of the former gaol (to which it was linked by a tunnel), in the centre of Mullingar. The interior was modified during the twentieth century with considerable loss of character to its two courtrooms and inappropriate alterations to the central entrance hall, high quality cantilevered stone staircase, and the front forecourt.
The brief required extensive remodelling of the historic building, to accommodate two much larger courtrooms, together with a smaller family courtroom and a range of additional modern court facilities. A glass-clad courtroom block was introduced to the side, together with a limestone and glass contemporary extension to the rear, and additional accommodation within the attic and basement of the existing building. As balance to these new additions, particular care was taken to carefully conserve and restore key architectural features, including the cut limestone front façade, the cantilevered staircase, the (first floor) Grand Jury Room, the front forecourt and railings.
The project skilfully integrates the old and the new and ensures that Mullingar Courthouse will remain in use for many years to come. The conservation and adaptation of this important nineteenth century building has helped to consolidate the civic and commercial core of Mullingar. The completed work has received a very positive reception from the Court Service, legal practitioners, and the people of Mullingar.
Client ; BAM Contractors Limited (Part of a seven courthouse PPP)