Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (507)

Clare Daly


507. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his position regarding the closure of the courthouse in Balbriggan; when this will take place; the alternative uses that will be made of this prominent building in the town; and the alternative arrangements that are in place for District Court hearings. [5099/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As Deputy may be 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.

However, in order to be of assistance, I had enquiries made and have been informed that during 2013 the Courts Service undertook a review of court services in the greater Dublin Area which included Balbriggan District Court. The purpose of the review was to examine options to ensure that the Courts Service can continue to maintain an appropriate level of front line services to court users throughout Dublin city and county. The Minister has been advised that the review is still under consideration by the Courts Service and no definitive proposals have been formulated in relation to any court venue being reviewed, including Balbriggan District Court.

The Courts Service has indicated, in principle, that if a decision is made not to continue court sittings in Balbriggan and subject to the approval of the Courts Service Board, then the Courts Service could consider offering the building to the local authority for use. It should be noted that the final decision in relation to the closure of any venue is entirely a matter for the Board of the Courts Service.