Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (522)

Mary Butler


522. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to carry out remedial works at Carlow courthouse and in particular on the railings there in view of the fact that the building is of historic importance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35441/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

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.

To assist the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that they are aware that the railings surrounding Carlow Courthouse are in poor condition. They are committed to their full restoration at the earliest possible date.

I am further informed that restoring the railings is a significant and complex task requiring specialist conservation and iron-working expertise. The Courts Service does not have this expertise and is reliant on the Office of Public Works (OPW) to undertake and manage the task on its behalf.

The restoration work will be undertaken in phases. The first phase of the restoration will see 10 sections repaired and will be subject to a competitive OPW tendering process. A great deal of background work has been undertaken by the OPW to date including technical appraisals, experimental repairs, exploratory works and specification of repair methodologies.  The OPW is currently finalising the tender documentation for the restoration of the initial 10 sections. Subject to a satisfactory tender process, it is anticipated that work will commence before the end of this year. The cost of restoring the initial 10 sections will be determined by the tendering process and the Courts Service has approved funding to cover the anticipated cost.

The first phase will inform how future phases of the project can be undertaken and will give an indication of the likely cost of restoring all sections of railings. It is anticipated that restoring all sections will take a number of years.  

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