Ballymullen site for courthouse?

Simon Brouder

Despite strong opposition from the Kerry Law Society and local traders the Courts Service is still strongly considering plans to move Tralee's courthouse to a new site on the outskirts of the town.

The iconic 182-year-old building on Ashe Street is one of five courthouses across the country that the Courts Service has identified as priorities for urgent refurbishment works in the next few years.

Recently Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told a delegation from Tralee Chamber Alliance that she was committed to maintaining a court service in Tralee.

However, she would not commit to keeping the courthouse on its current site and said the Courts Service would have to acquire additional property in order to complete the necessary improvements to Tralee Courthouse.

Fitzgerald said that the cost of upgrading the existing building would be significant and the construction of an entirely new courthouse on a greenfield site is the preferred option.

Opponents of the proposal to move the courthouse say the building could be extended onto a largely vacant site immediately to the rear of the existing building.

In a letter to Kerry County Council the Tánaiste's Private Secretary Niall Colgan poured cold water on that proposal, though he did not dismiss it entirely.

"I understand that it has been suggested that a site to the rear of the courthouse could be acquired. However, this site is currently in use by An Post and is also the location of a telecommunications mast," he wrote .

"The Courts Service is currently considering a number options including the feasibility of developing on this site as well the possible development of a new courthouse on a site at Ballymullen Barracks," wrote Mr Colgan.


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