The Chief Justice Susan Denham has highlighted the impact of stark budget cuts to the courts system.
She says the cost to the State of running Ireland's courts was nearly €58m last year which is down 42% since 2008 – making the Courts Service in Ireland one of the cheapest to run in Europe.
Launching the service's annual report, the Chief Justice said expenditure has been monitored closely to ensure core operations are protected.
Helen Priestley of the Courts Service said it is a warning that further cuts could harm the system.
Ms Priestley said: "The point that is essentially being made is that, notwithstanding all of the efforts that have been made by the courts service to improve efficiencies - for example rationalising court venues, combining court offices all around the country - nevertheless, because of the workload that continues to come to the courts, it would just not be possible to pare back any further."