Divisions over Tralee court move

Simon Brouder

Councillors are divided over suggestions that Tralee Courthouse be moved to the Denny factory site in the town.

The Court building - which is generally accepted as unfit for purpose - is due to be either refurbished, or moved to a new building on a greenfield site.

While town centre businesses and the legal community want to see the courts stay on Ashe Street, the State's favoured option seems to be a new building.

Various sites have been mooted, with the Denny site often cited as an ideal location.

At Monday's Tralee Municipal District meeting, Cllr Jim Finucane tabled a motion seeking a feasibility study to examine if the current court building could be converted into a civic or arts centre.

Cllr Finucane said building a new courthouse would provide Tralee with a brand-new court facility along with the chance to develop an iconic building.

He added that the Courts Service was clearly moving ahead with its plan and the council needed to pre-empt them.

Regarding the Denny Site suggestion, Cllrs Norma Foley, Terry O'Brien and Sam Locke said the idea of building a new courthouse on the site never formed part of the extensive public consultation process when the council was preparing a masterplan for the site.

Cllr Pa Daly - a leading figure in the fight to keep the courthouse where it is - said the State can't be allowed proceed unilaterally and that a solution can be found on Ashe Street.

"This needs imagination and that's not there in the Courts Service," he said. "They want an easy life and, unfortunately, no-one is telling them 'no it has to stay where it is'".