Costs soar even as courthouse remains closed
Deputy John Brady says the amount of money spent on Wicklow Courthouse while it has been closed could have been instead used to help reopen it sooner.
The building has been sitting vacant since 2010 when the district court moved to Bray due to health and safety concerns at the courthouse. Circuit court sittings had already relocated from Wicklow to Bray in 2008.
A response from the Minister for Justice and Equality to a question from Deputy Brady revealed that it has cost €111,407 to keep Wicklow Courthouse closed between 2010 and 2019.
'I was shocked when I received the response to my recent question to the Minister about the costs associated in keeping Wicklow Courthouse closed. It has cost €111,407 to keep the premises locked up since 2010. This doesn't include the costs associated with having the court service located in Bray,' said the Sinn Fein TD.
There have been a number of false-dawns for the courthouse, with works which would allow it to reopen still yet to happen.
'In early 2018 the Minister for Justice said Wicklow Courthouse would be included in the ten-year capital plan. He also stated that some demolition works to facilitate a planned extension would take place in early 2018. In a subsequent response I got from the Minister he stated the demolition works would take place in early 2019, we now know that these works have been kicked down the road,' said Deputy Brady.
'The plan to extend and refurbish the courthouse in Wicklow town must be fast tracked. Handing out €111,407 to keep the building closed amounts to a wilful waste.
'I am again calling on the Government to stop wasting taxpayers' money and outline a clear time frame for the reopening of the courthouse, or are they happy paying out this type of money indefinitely.'