Written Answers. - Court Accommodation.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

262 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in respect of the provision of the proposed new courthouse at Kilcock, County Kildare; the extent, if any, to which negotiations have progressed in this regard in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7038/00]

The Courts Service was established in November last year and has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of all courthouses throughout the country.

I have been informed by the Courts Service that they are preparing a five to seven year capital building programme at present. In this programme, priority will be given to those areas where buildings are in greatest use, have high caseloads and where there are a high number of court sittings. For example, the county towns have been accorded priority because they usually accommodate court staff and sittings in the District, Circuit and High Courts. As the Deputy will be aware, Naas courthouse has been fully refurbished and extended and refurbishment work is about to commence on Athy courthouse which is a District and Circuit Court venue.

Kilcock courthouse is a District Court venue which sits two days per month. I am aware that the facilities in Kilcock are inadequate to meet modern day court requirements. I have been informed by the Courts Service that it is their intention to improve the facilities on the existing site or to provide modern courts facilities in another location in the town as part of the Courts Service capital building programme. However, given the overall demands on the programme it is not possible at this point to say when work will commence in Kilcock.