THE OLD BARRACKS
This house, which was built about 1860, originally consisted of two semi-detached houses with a carriage arch located between them. It has been suggested that they may have been built as houses for workers on the estate of Ballinahown Court. At a later date, certainly after 1876 and possibly not until the twentieth century, the building was converted for use as a police barracks. The two separate front doors were blocked up and a single central front entrance was created under the arch. From about 1924 it was the barracks of An Garda Síochána, with living accomodation for the sergeant and his family in the south end of the building and the day room and holding cell on the ground floor in the north end. In 1970 its use as a barracks came to an end and the house was sold at public auction and became once again a private residence. Though the alterations to the front of the building are clearly visible, it still retains much of its original character.
Research and Information provided by Cathal Ô Háinle.
Bibliography of text includes: An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Westmeath (National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, 2007); www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah; Ordnance Survey Maps 1837/’38 (Westmeath, sheet 35), 1876/’79, 1912/’14; Cathal Ó Háinle, ‘St. Columcille’s Church: History, Tradition and Memory’ in A Pilgrim People: Stories from Leamonaghan Parish (Leamonaghan Parish Millenium Committee, n.d.)
Pat McGuinness, ‘Just Passing Through’ in A Pilgrim People.