Please see the below letter and Parliamentary Question response I recently sent out to local solicitors and business people regarding the proposed closure of the Dun Laoghaire Courthouse
I know it has been of concern to you that Dun Laoghaire Courthouse has been threatened with closure.
Since late last year, I have had meetings with solicitors and Business Associations about the impact the closure would have on local legal cases, and also the impact it would have on the business community in Dun Laoghaire. Closing Dun Laoghaire Courthouse will entail the public, Gardai, and solicitors travelling to courthouses in either, Blanchardstown, Dolphin House or The Courts of Criminal Justice in the city.
I have also met with The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, about the threatened closure, outlining the impact it would have. In the Dáil, I put a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality and she has sent me her reply.
I draw your attention to a paragraph stating that the consultation period on Dun Laoghaire Courthouse has been extended and I would urge you to make a submissionto firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 September 2014:
‘The Courts Service had originally sought submissions by the end of June but it has now agreed to extend the timeframe for submissions to early September to allow for the fullest possible consultation. I have been assured by the Courts Service that all submissions received on the proposal will receive consideration. It is intended that proposals arising from the review including the closure of the court venue in Dun Laoghaire will be considered by the Courts Service Board at a meeting in October.’
I will continue to make representations to keep Dun Laoghaire Courthouse open. Please share this information with your colleagues. If you need to contact me, please call my Blackrock Office at 01 210916. My email address is: email@example.com
Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Ms. Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 8th July, 2014.
* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason Dun Laoghaire courthouse is being considered for closure in view of the fact that it will result in a breakdown of the administration of justice and increase financial costs for the State in the long run; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Mary Mitchell O’Connor
As the Deputy may 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.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and I have been informed that following a review undertaken in 2013 into the delivery of court services in the greater Dublin Area, the proposals which have recently been published by the Courts Service include a proposal to close the District Court venue in Dun Laoghaire. The purpose of the review was to examine options to ensure that the Courts Service can continue to maintain an appropriate level of front line services to court users throughout Dublin city and county. The review has been the first comprehensive assessment of the delivery of court services in Dublin in many decades. In addition, the proposals arising from the review are designed to ensure the maximum utilisation of court accommodation and resources while at the same time providing opportunities for efficiencies across the justice system.
The Courts Service recognises that the proposal to close the court venue in Dun Laoghaire would inevitably have an impact on a range of organisations and courts users. In this context, I welcome the consultative approach which is being adopted by the Courts Service in seeking submissions on the proposal from any interested parties or local interests. The Courts Service had originally sought submissions by the end of June but it has now agreed to extend the timeframe for submissions to early September to allow for the fullest possible consultation. I have been assured by the Courts Service that all submissions received on the proposal will receive consideration. It is intended that proposals arising from the review including the closure of the court venue in Dun Laoghaire will be considered by the Courts Service Board at a meeting in October.
I have been assured that any impacts on the administration of justice and/or any possible increased costs to the State will be among the matters which will be taken into consideration by the Courts Service Building Committee and the Board when considering the proposals. It should, of course, be noted that the final decision in relation to the closure of any court venue is a matter for the Board of the Courts’ Service.
Photograph from South Dublin Today