Courts to close despite revamps

TWO courthouses are facing closure despite hundreds of thousands of euro being spent on renovation works over the past decade.

Both Roscrea and Borrisokane courthouses in Co Tipperary face the axe over plans by the Courts Service to merge both district court sittings with weekly sittings at Nenagh District Court.

The Courts Service maintain the lack of adequate cells at both buildings was a major factor in the decision.

However, despite the extensive interior works at Roscrea, it became apparent last year that further improvements were needed, particularly in relation to the antiquated heating system.

In recent months, North Tipperary County Council mounted a bid to stave off closure of the courthouse with a decision to undertake preservation works at the building. Court cases have been heard in Roscrea since 1820 but, despite internal renovations over the past decade, the building still fails to meet the criteria required for a modern courthouse.

Temperatures inside the courthouse plummet during the winter period. On occasions, despite the heating being on, district court Judge Mary Martin and other judges have commented on the cold and unsuitable nature of the courtroom.

Local solicitors and senior gardaí have voiced their opposition to the decision.

Solicitors said the decision would create undue hardship for people who will be forced to travel over 36km to Nenagh for cases.

Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan said he was “hugely disappointed with the decision of the Courts Service.”

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