Barbary Projects

Project: New roof for Kilmainham Gaol

Client: Office of Public Works

Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new county gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924. Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation from 1780s to the 1920s.


It will forever be associated with the leaders of 1916 many of which were detained and in some cases executed here.
There can be few places therefore that more intensely crystalized the forces that shaped modern Irish nationalism than Kilmainham Goal.

Kilmainham Goal Museum is a major tourist attraction today and is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works.
The jail has been used in several movies, notably “In the name of the father” and “The Italian Job”. In both movies it played jails in England.



The works

Kilmainham Gaol has a pitched Slate roof which is curved at one end of the building. The building has a central vaulted rooflight with wrought iron copings to parapet. The large Iron framed roof light provides natural light for the prison cells in the large central atrium below.

Barbary removed the existing Blue bangor slates for storage and replaced with new Blue bangor slates size 500mm x 300mm on new battens with Roofshield breather membrane. For the curved area of the roof most of the slates had to be cut individually to suit.

New lead flashings to rooflight upstands, chimney and gable walls.


Click here for RTE video: Restoration of Roof of Kilmainham Gaol 1964




Project: Kilmainham Court House & Outhouses

Client: Office of Public Works

Main Contractor: Lissadel Construction Limited



The removal of the old blue bangor slate roof and roof finishes. The Blue bangors slates which were of high enough quality were sorted, graded and re-cut to allow them to be used again. The remaining shortfall of slates required were sources and selected to match existing by Barbary.  New copper valleys were installed. Lead capping’s were added for additional weathering purposes. There were also significant timber repairs.

Dublin City Council had granted planning permission to the Office of Public Works to restore and develop Kilmainham courthouse.

The courthouse, a protected structure built in 1820, is to become part of Kilmainham Gaol museum.
Sited next to the gaol in Dublin’s south inner city, the courthouse will serve as the ticket purchase and collection point for visitors coming to the museum. The main courtroom will be fully restored using existing furniture, the majority of which dates from 1865.


Outhouse buildings, formerly coach houses, will also be converted as part of the project, to provide new toilets for visitors. Other works will include building an internal mezzanine bridge to link the east and west wings, changes to the front railings outside to provide two new side gates, and realignment of the stone entrance to the front.

Kilmainham courthouse was a “sessions house” for the Dublin grand jury in 1820, according to the planning application lodged by Se├ín Moylan of Architectural Services One on behalf of the OPW.

It functioned as the seat of local government administration for Co Dublin and also accommodated the elections of parliamentary representatives. It ceased as a court in 2008 and was handed over to the Office of Public Works last year.





Project: Mansion House Dublin



Carpentry works and supply and fitting of New Blue Bangor welsh slate.
Domes are beautiful roofs when fitted correctly. To achieve the perfect Dome many of these slates had to be cut by hand to suit the curve of the roof.




Project: St Kevins Church, Harrington Street Dublin
Works :


Replacement of old roof with new Blue Bangor Slates 500mm x 300mm,  Slates were cut by hand to match the patterns of the roof that had been replaced. Fitting and supply of a new metal ridge system with finial detail.



Image of the old Roof below.