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Saturday 20 January 2018

Judge laments closures of historic district court

John Fallon

A JUDGE has expressed her regret at the closure of a district court which predated the foundation of the State.

And Judge Mary Fahy, speaking yesterday at the final sitting of Spiddal District Court in Co Galway, said courts were closing down despite an increase in the number of cases coming before them.

The court in Spiddal, which is held in the village library, is the latest to close in Connemara and follows recent closures in Carna, Oughterard and Maam Cross, with the cases transferred to Derrynea.

Judge Fahy, speaking in Irish, said courts were as busy now as at any time. "It is sad to see these courts close given that they have served the community down through the years.

"It is regrettable because the courts are as busy and in the case of family law, there is about a two-fold increase in the list. It just means adding extra days when it moves to Derrynea," she said.

Yesterday's list took around 90 minutes to dispense.

The majority of the cases were traffic related, with a number of assaults. Around half of the 38 cases listed were adjourned to Derrynea in September.

Solicitor Sean O Cearbhaill said that Spiddal court had served the community for generations, while solicitor Adrian McGlynn said it predated the foundation of the State.

"It goes back to the time of the Petty Sessions when JPs (Justices of Peace) oversaw the implementation of justice," he said.

Garda Supt Noel Kelly said: "It was great to see justice dispensed in a community. It really brought it home to people. Justice will continue to be dispensed, it is just that it will be happening somewhere else and will be that bit removed."

Irish Independent

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