Eight courthouses around the country will close permanently by the end of the year, the Courts Service has announced.
Offaly and Mayo will each lose two courthouses with the closure of the Edenderry, Birr, Swinford and Ballyhaunis facilities. In Cork, Kinsale’s courthouse will close, while Kells in Meath, Clones in Monaghan and Baltinglass in Wicklow will also all be shuttered.
It is expected the courthouses will close by January 1st. The future of the courthouse in Skibereen, Co Cork, will be determined in the autumn.
The Courts Service said the closures were “regrettable”, but were justified by the benefits of centralising court services.
Edenderry solicitor Anne Marie Kelleher said that the decision to close the Edenderry and Birr courthouses was a disappointing one for Co Offaly.
“The intention is that the Edenderry hearings will be moved to Tullamore. We’re very removed from Tullamore – 22 miles – and there is no regular transport available. I fear that it might have a prejudicial effect on Edenderry,” said Ms Kelleher.
In a submission to the Courts Service last month, a group of Edenderry solicitors claimed the travel costs which will be faced by Garda and Prison Service, as well as solicitors’ legal aid costs, will outweigh the potential
Source: The Irish Times