An East Cork district court is being temporarily relocated to West Waterford after a large panel of glass crashed to the floor of a courtroom.

Cork County Council, which owns the riverside building in Youghal, said the courtroom was closed on health and safety grounds.

Court proceedings will be transferred, for September at least, to Dungarvan courthouse, 30km away.

The courtroom is in Youghal’s Mall House, which was built in the 1770s and also serves as a theatre and exhibition and conference centre. It is leased to the Courts Service for approximately €8,000 per annum.

Municipal district officer Helen Mulcahy said the panel has been replaced and the council is “waiting for the glass extension to be checked over and serviced by a specialist glazing company”. She said a survey will be “conducted by qualified personnel who hopefully will sign off it’s safe and suitable to re-open for public use”.

The courtroom has remained closed since mid-July and various events have been relocated after the glass panel collapsed during a circuit court hearing.

A local solicitor said the relocation was “inconvenient but was bearable on a temporary basis”, and the closure underlined how important the court administration was to Youghal in legal and commercial terms.

Ms Mulcahy said the facility would definitely remain closed throughout September but the matter was being monitored on “a week-by-week basis”.

The court sittings also cause an inconvenience to gardaí during the business days of the relocated district court.

The courtroom overlooks a glazed glass annex, added 14 years ago as a reception area, which is used as a waiting and consultation area by solicitors and clients.

Meanwhile, a nearby three-storey building leased by the Courts Service remains under-utilised despite arguments by local solicitors that it could also serve as a court facility.

Opened in 2009, it boasts unused holding cells suitable for suspects on remand.


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