Roscommon Courthouse may continue to host court sittings up to the 30th of March 2020, although that ‘cannot be guaranteed’.
That’s according to correspondence sent to Senator Terry Leyden by the CEO of the Courts Service last Thursday morning, prior to the latter’s meeting with members of Roscommon Bar Association and local Gardai.
In the correspondence, the Courts Service provided some clarity on its intentions with regard to the building, which it purchased in 2018.
On foot of enquiries submitted by Senator Leyden last Thursday, Angela Denning, Chief Executive Officer of the Courts Service, said that if there are issues between now and March with regard to holding court sittings in Roscommon Courthouse, the intention was to move District Court sittings to Castlerea and Circuit Court sittings to Carrick-on-Shannon. However, the Courts Service would continue to “look for alternative venues in Roscommon town to house the District Court, and where possible the Circuit Court”.
In her correspondence to Senator Leyden, Ms. Denning also provided some information on the refurbishment works required. She wrote: “The Office of Public Works have been conducting various surveys of the building since we took possession of it and, in common with many old buildings, the main areas of focus were the electrical works and the roof.
“Based on initial surveys, it was estimated earlier in the year that €350K would have to be put aside for electrical works. However, at a meeting with OPW on Friday 4th October 2019, the M&E Experts indicated that the cost of the electrical works alone will total at least €450K. In addition, following the collapse of a ceiling in a jury room on the ground floor of the courthouse, investigations were carried out on the condition of the roof and it appears it too needs considerable work. In total, it appears that it would be likely to cost at least €1m to repair the roof and electrical works.
“At the same meeting, the proposal was put to the OPW about completing some small remedial works in order to keep the Courthouse open until 30th of March 2020. While no attendee indicated opposition to this, it cannot be guaranteed that there will be no problems between now and then. If there are, the proposal is that Circuit Court sittings will move to Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim while District Court sittings will move to Castlerea Courthouse in Co. Roscommon as an interim measure.
“Work is underway to look for alternative venues in Roscommon town to house the District Court, and where possible the Circuit Court”.