With support from Fás, providing part-time positions under its C.E scheme and the Arts Council, providing programming funds under annual funding, the Courthouse established itself as south Wicklow’s premier professional venue delivering a strong multi-disciplinary arts programme. During the first ten years the Courthouse was nurtured, developed and managed by Sharon Corcoran its first Artistic Director. Since then the venue has been managed by Shelly Hayes (2006-2010) Deryn O Callahan (2010-2013) Maggie Gallagher (2014 – 2018) Hannah Mullan (2018 – 2019) and currently Denise McGrath (2019).
The courthouse in Tinahely was built in 1843, but by the 1950s it was used as much for community activities such as dances and movies as for court sessions. By the 1980s it had fallen into complete disrepair and disuse, and had become, moreover, a serious eyesore in the village. A local committee was formed to take on the task of restoring the building. With grant aid from FAS (the Training and Employment Authority) which enabled the hiring and training of local youths to carry out the work, and local fundraising for the cost of materials, the courthouse was restored and opened as a centre for arts, culture and heritage in January, 1996.
The Courthouse Arts Centre is now at the heart of the Tinahely community and an important geographical landmark in the county and a uniquely visible and valuable asset in the cultural landscape of south Wicklow, north Carlow and north Wexford. 1
- 2006, 5 – 30 Jun, Aldborough House Photographs, Martina Galvin, Tinahely Courthouse Gallery