Deputy Willie Penrose met with Minister of State, Brian Hayes, the OPW, and the Courts Service this week with a view to discussing 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 the carrying out of much-needed renovation and refurbishment.
Deputy Penrose raised the 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 whilst they all were very supportive of the redevelopments planned for the existing courthouse next year, they were adamant that appropriate temporary facilities and accommodation would be sought in Mullingar to enable the District Court. The court sits regularly at least seven days in every month, and will need temporary facilities for up to two years whilst the refurbishments take place.
“I reiterated this strongly held 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.
According to Deputy Penrose there are a number of factors to be consider regarding the suitability of an alternative venue. “I emphasised, as I did during the course 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 upon this important task of securing appropriate alternative accommodation, and that Columb Barracks will be reviewed in this context.”