Court chief in legal battle to replace staff
THE man who runs the Circuit Court office in Co Kerry has brought a legal challenge over the alleged failure of the Courts Service to replace key staff who have retired.
Kerry county registrar Padraig Burke, who is also the county sheriff and returning officer for elections, says he is being seriously impeded in the discharge of his functions by the failure to address his concerns over staffing.
He claims that since March last year, following the retirement of four experienced frontline staff, his office in Centrepoint, Tralee, has been down three out of a total complement of nine staff.
Mr Burke, who was appointed county registrar by the government in 2006, is seeking a number of declarations from the High Court including that the Courts Service is obliged to respect his powers, duties and functions.
The Courts Service denies it has failed to replace essential frontline staff as Mr Burke alleges or that it has failed to engage effectively with him in relation to the _matter.
It also says that in the light of severe budgetary constraints and government policy on public-service recruitment, it has had to prioritise resources in relation to all court staff appointments around the country.
The case before Mr Justice John Hedigan resumes next Thursday.