Granard Town Hall
Library & Market House
Granard Town Hall, Library & Market House. Granard a market town, and has had a market house since the late 17th century.
One of the distinguishing features of a town is the presence of a market. Generally, most Irish markets and fairs originated with a grant from the English/British monarch to a landlord, who was given the right to hold a market or fair on his estate.
The market house dates from before 1810 and originally it would have comprised an open space on the ground floor, accessed through the large, arched openings.
A stone staircase led to the court room upstairs. After the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the courtroom was used for district court cases involving minor matters. Court cases have ceased to be heard here, ending a long tradition in the town.
The building is interconnected with the Greville Arms Hotel, which stands next door, through a series of doors at ground floor and first floor level.
The ‘hole in the wall’ on the ground floor links the market place with the pub. Upstairs, rooms were set aside in the Greville Arms as magistrates and barristers’ chambers, and were also entered through a ‘convenient doorway’ in the party wall.
In 1920, during a particularly vicious phase of the Irish War of Independence, much of Granard, including the market house, was burned in retaliation for the shooting of DI Phillip St. John Kelleher.
The building was repaired by 1926, in virtually the same form, although with some changes, such as the more elaborate plaster decoration visible on its external walls. One of the most impressive features of this rebuilding is the ornate timber ceiling in the first floor hall.
In addition to its primary purpose, the building accommodated many different functions over the course of its history, including school classes during the 1820s. During the early 20th century the building accommodated operas, plays and live performances including Count John McCormack.
Later it was used as a cinema and as a venue for indoor games and dance classes. The Irish Country Markets occupied the ground floor since 1979, selling fresh fruit and vegetables, home baking and preserves at weekly market. The building also houses the town library.
Library opening hours: Tuesday 10.00-1.00 1.30-7.00
Wednesday 10.00-1.00 1.30-7.00
Friday 10.00-1.00 1.30-5.00