Deputy Willie Penrose met Minister of State, Brian Hayes, the OPW and the Courts Service today (Wednesday February 5) to discuss the provision of alternative temporary facilities to enable district court sittings to continue in Mullingar, when the current facility at Mount Street is closed next year for renovation and refurbishment.
“Some weeks ago, I raised this issue in the Dáil, and conveyed the strong desire among legal practitioners, the administrators, An Garda Síochána, court users, and members of the public and business community, that while they all were supportive of the re-developments planned for the courthouse next year, they were adamant that appropriate temporary facilities and accommodation would be sought in Mullingar to enable the district court, which sits regularly at least seven days a month, to continue to sit in Mullingar for up to two years, while the refurbishments take place.
“I reiterated this view among the people of Mullingar to the senior personnel, and they assured me that they are actively examining a number of alternative locations in Mullingar, including Columb Barracks.
“There are a number of factors which they have to consider in terms of the suitability of my alternative venue, but I emphasised, as I did during the cause of the Dáil debate that I initiated on this matter, that Columb Barracks is eminently suitable, as there are a number of significant buildings at this location, with a lot of space available for parking and access.
“I am happy that all of the relevant authorities will now focus their energies on this important task of securing appropriate alternative accommodation, and that Columb Barracks will be reviewed in this context.
“Minister Hayes, in the Dáil debate, assured me he would facilitate this meeting of all of the relevant bodies dealing with this issue, and I wish to thank him for honouring that commitment by hosting this meeting at his offices in Dáil Éireann today. I hope there will be a positive outcome to these deliberations over the next few months.”