The building of the courthouse was made possible by the generous patronage of the Bruen family of Oak Park. The Courthouse, based on the Temple of Llissus in Athens, gives the impression of a temple set on a high plinth, but this obscures the fact that the basement is a maze of cells and dungeons.
An interesting story is associated with Carlow Courthouse. it was apparently intended for Cork city, but the plans were mixed up and Carlow gained Cork's impressive Courthouse. A cannon from the Crimean War stands on the steps.