As the Deputy will 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.
In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that there are no plans to carry out works to Swords Courthouse at this time.
However, a number of developments in relation to Courts Service accommodation requirements are outlined in the Government's recent National Development Plan 2018 -2027. They include:
- Further new or refurbished courthouses in regional cities and county towns where facilities remain substandard (including Galway City, Wicklow Town, Portlaoise, Tralee and Roscommon) and further provincial locations such as An Clochan Liath (Dungloe) to serve as the Gaeltacht court for the region, and Tuam;
- Regional Family Law Centres;
- A nationwide condition survey of all court buildings in the estate will be undertaken to determine their condition and identify works required in relation to any issues identified and meet ongoing maintenance requirements.
The precise allocation and timing of additional funding over the entire ten year period remains to be fully determined. It will be dependent on the outcome of further detailed planning and analysis of costs which will determine prioritisation of projects from a timing and budgetary perspective. The Courts Service will consider the possibility of a new courthouse development in North Dublin but this will require more detailed review and analysis.