Historic Killorglin courthouse closes

Dónal Nolan

Killorglin Courthouse will hear its last cases at the monthly sitting of the district court on Thursday with no timeline on when, if ever, the building will be used again.

A health and safety review will now be carried out on the historic building and the Courts Service has confirmed that the current Killorglin caseload will transfer to Cahersiveen during the 'temporary closure'.

"This is deemed a temporary closure but one wonders if it is temporary. It depends on the outcome of an appraisal," local solicitor Liam Crowley said on Tuesday.

Built by Lord Ventry for petty sessions in 1894, the court was used for inquests of the drowning victims of the Ballykissane Pier tragedy.

"My grandfather William Crowley was a juror for those inquests and the courthouse in general has a huge significance for the people of Killorglin," Mr Crowley said, adding: "While Cahersiveen is a fine court, Killorglin Courthouse is a service for litigants in Mid Kerry".

"The building has a long-standing tradition on Market Street. It's used once a month and, indeed, more often for special sittings so one hopes that it can be reconstituted."

Meanwhile, one local politician is calling on the Court Service of Ireland to consider moving the courthouse into the civic offices at Library Place in the centre of the mid-Kerry town in a bid to keep a service judged vital for the health of the local economy.

County Councillor Mike Cahill said the Court Service of Ireland had, in fact, approved a plan to build a new courthouse as part of the original Library Place design some years ago, but backed down as it did not have the means to fund it. Councillor Cahill is now calling on Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to relocate the courthouse to the County Council offices at Library Place in a bid to keep the service in the mid-Kerry town where it plays an important economic role.

"There is no doubt retaining the Court Service in Killorglin where state of the art facilities are already available makes administrative and economic sense and would be in accordance with the Government programme of assisting and supporting sustainable rural development," Cllr Cahill said.

"Taking away and centralising services at the expense of a small town like Killorglin where the local community and employers are working so hard to keep a vibrant community flies in the face of all we are trying to achieve," he added, saying that Killorglin is a perfect location in the centre of the county.


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