Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (190)

Willie Penrose


190. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeline envisaged for the refurbishment of the courthouse in Mullingar, County Westmeath, which has been deemed not suitable for Circuit Court and higher court settings for the past number of years; when it is likely that such courts will be in a position to resume sitting in Mullingar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45334/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

In July 2012, the Government announced an infrastructure stimulus package which includes the provision of new or refurbished courthouses in Mullingar, Drogheda, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Letterkenny.

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions. In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that they are currently working with the National Development Finance Agency and the Office of Public Works with a view to bringing these projects to the market shortly. The projects are to be procured and delivered through a Public Private Partnership.

In relation to the proposed Mullingar Courthouse project, the Courts Service has stated that the plan is to refurbish and extend the existing courthouse at Mullingar to provide a three courtroom venue, a new court office and associated facilities. I am informed that the refurbished courthouse will be suitable for sittings of the circuit and higher courts as required. It is anticipated that it will be completed in late 2016.