Community should decide where €340,000 for Bray’s old courthouse goes, says Wicklow TD

Sinn Féin TD John Brady, with Councillors Dermot O'Brien and Grace McManus, at the old Bray Courthouse on Boghall Road.

Tom GalvinBray People

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the allocation of €340,000 in funding for the refurbishment of the former Bray District Courthouse through the Community Recognition Fund and said the community should now decide on its future use.

Mr Brady said it follows a long-running Sinn Féin campaign to secure the transfer of the building for community use and the next step should be to hold a comprehensive consultation process which would invite submissions from the community.

“Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues, Councillors Grace MacManus and Dermot O’Brien, have led out on a long-running campaign over quite a number of years to first off have the former Bray District Courthouse transferred to community use. I am glad to see that funding has been secured to have it brought back up to a usable standard,” he said.

The former courthouse building, on the Boghall Road, has been vacant since 2006, when court sittings and services were relocated.

Some of the works to be completed include an electrical upgrade, painting, flooring and heating system improvements.

Work planned for the outside includes new windows and doors, along with painting of the full exterior. Work will also have to be undertaken to safely remove asbestos from the former courthouse.

Importantly, a lift will be installed to allow full access to all levels of the new facility.

“In October 2020, the Courts Service informed me that the old Bray Courthouse was surplus to their requirements and that they were willing to transfer it to Wicklow County Council,” Mr Brady said.

“I’m delighted that following our successful campaign to secure the transfer of the building for community use, funding has now been secured for the renovation of the old Courthouse.

“I believe that the next step which can be undertaken right away is to hold a comprehensive consultation process, as was conducted around the old Bray Heritage site, which received 149 submissions, containing many exciting ideas. It is essential that community, sporting groups and individuals are given the opportunity to put forward submission concerning the future use of the building.

"This should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity, in order to transfer the building to community use in a timely manner,” he added.