Minister launches €9m new courthouse for town
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan TD officially opened Drogheda's state of the art courthouse on Monday.
The new courthouse took 18 months to complete and was delivered at a cost of €9 million by BAM Construction who were also awarded the contract to manage the facility for the next 25 years.
Speaking at the official opening in the new courthouse, the Minister said: 'This is the first courthouse to be completed under the programme announced in 2012 and I acknowledge that my timing is good as I have the privilege of formally opening this building, just a month after being appointed Minister for Justice and Equality.
He said the building has 'an assertive civic quality' and an important location in a historic old walled area of Drogheda visible from the public plaza close to the river. 'Architecturally it speaks to both the ancient world in terms of its contemporary interpretation of the traditional portico and its limestone colonnades.'
The Minister acknowledged that for many people a court can be an intimidating place where life changing decisions are handed down. 'The court deals with so many different, complex and sensitive issues that affect people's lives in myriad ways. So to have a local courthouse, a place that is accessible, modern and user-friendly is really important.'
Drawing on his own experience, Minister Flanagan added: 'As a solicitor in practice in Portlaoise for many years, I know this is a significant day for the local legal community. And from a community perspective, I am keenly aware of the importance of the local courthouse.'
The completed new Drogheda facility includes two double height courtrooms, ancillary accommodation for judges and staff, consultation rooms for practitioners, clients and vulnerable witnesses, a spacious public lobby and waiting area and spaces for the media. The first sitting in the new courthouse took place last Friday.