Call to establish courthouse's fate

EMPTY SINCE 'TEMPORARY CLOSURE'

Published 16/01/2013 | 09:09

Wicklow Court House.

A DELEGATION from Wicklow Town Council plan to arrange a meeting with the Courts Service to establish what the future holds for the local courthouse.

The court has been sitting empty ever since it was temporarily closed in September 2010 for health and safety works.

At the time the Courts Service said the works shouldn't take any more than a year to complete.

Wicklow District Court sittings were moved to Bray, where they continue to sit.

Gerry Nugent, Regional Manager for the Courts Service, recently wrote to the council seeking submissions for the proposal to create a 'combined courts service' for County Wicklow.

The letter reads, 'in respect of Co. Wicklow the Courts Service has a preference for the creation of a combined court office to be located in Bray courthouse. If the proposal goes ahead the combined office will be created from the amalgamation of the District Court office in Bray and the Circuit Court office in Wicklow town.

The new office will to all intents and purposes manage all of the Circuit Court and District Court business for Co. Wicklow.'

Mr. Nugent then goes on to add that the proposal is subject to consultation with representative court users and public representatives. Comments and contributions are welcomed, with a closing date of Friday January 25 mentioned for submissions. Nowhere in the letter do the Courts Service indicate what plans they have for Wicklow courthouse.

Cllr. Conal Kavanagh feels arranging a meeting between Mr. Nugent and a delegation from the council would be 'worthwhile' after he attended a similar meeting with County Councillors over Baltinglass courthouse.

Mayor Mervyn Morrison questions how the current arrangement facilitates court users.

' The family court is 15 to 18 months behind and court users find it impossible to get parked any where near the courthouse in Bray.'

Cllr. Malcolm Earls has called for the involvement of local solicitors such as Finola Freehill, should the meeting take place.

Prior to 2008 Wicklow Circuit Court also sat in Wicklow Courthouse before being relocated to Bray.

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