Dutch firm wins €135m contract to build courts
A Dutch engineering company has won a €135m state contract to renovate and build courthouses in Ireland.
A subsidiary of Royal BAM Group has been retained to build new courthouses in Drogheda, Letterkenny, Limerick and Wexford as part of a public private partnership (PPP).
It will also refurbish and extend courthouses in Cork, Mullingar and Waterford.
In a statement, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), which is part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said it had appointed "BAM PPP PGGM as preferred tenderer in the development of four new courthouses and the refurbishment and extension of three existing court buildings".
The project is part of the Government's €2.25bn Infrastructure Stimulus Programme, which it created in 2012.
Assuming all goes according to plan, construction should begin in November and be completed within two years or so.
NDFA director Brian Murphy said his agency was "pleased to be working on this important upgrade to the State's courthouse facilities which are expected to deliver broad improvements and efficiencies including reduced waiting times and a reduction in litigation costs".
He added: "We were very encouraged by the quality of tender submissions received for this development and congratulate BAM on their appointment."
The tender was welcomed by Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin, who said it would "create local jobs and will provide modern, fit for purpose facilities for members of the judiciary, the legal profession, gardaí and the general public". Many courthouses around the country have had to be maintained on a day -to-day basis.
Most are several decades old and are not equipped to deal with computers and the number of phonelines that were not required even a few years ago.
The new courthouses will become the newest additions to the courthouse inventory. The Criminal Courts of Justice, inset, which opened by the Phoenix Park in Dublin in 2010, have been widely praised for its design.