History – Market House
This building was the civic centre of the town from the early 1600s until 1953. The Sovereign (mayor) and burgesses assembled here to conduct the business of the borough in accordance with the charter of May 5th 1613.
The market house is first mentioned in 1642 and again in 1696 when it was rebuilt. It was called the Guildhall in 1765 and the Town Hall from the end of the 19th century. This building witnessed all the major events in the town’s history. Courts of petty sessions were held here as well as balls.
The bodies of the slain United Irishmen of 1798 were displayed here following the rising. During the Great Famine food was distributed from the soup room set up in the Market House.