No funds have been allocated to-date by my Department under any of the above headings to the courthouses in County Meath.
The provision and maintenance of courthouse accommodation outside of Dublin City is the responsibility of local authorities under the Courthouses (Provision and Maintenance) Act, 1935. Any expenditure under the above headings would accordingly be borne by Meath County Council.
While the statutory position is as set out in the 1935 Act, the Government decided in March, 1990 to relieve local authorities of the financial burden of providing and maintaining courthouses, the cost of which would be borne by the State.
Because of budgetary constraints however it has only been possible to implement this decision to a very limited extent. The provision for capital expenditure has had to be allocated to those courthouses where need was greatest. It has not been possible either to recoup local authority expenditure on courthouse running costs. Accordingly they are expected to make provision as heretofore.
It should be noted that of the provision for Courthouses in the Book of Estimates only the provision for capital expenditure relates to provincial courthouses. Responsibility for the upkeep of the Dublin centre city courthouses was devolved from the Office of Public Works to the Department of Justice some years ago and the provisions for maintenance, heat, light and fuel, furniture and fittings and miscellaneous expenditure relate exclusively to those courthouses.