Minus One Degrees in Athy Court

A reading of minus one was recorded in Athy District Court yesterday (Tuesday) after Judge Desmond Zaidan called a halt to proceedings for 20 minutes and ordered gardai to bring back a thermometer.

A reading of minus one was recorded in Athy District Court yesterday (Tuesday) after Judge Desmond Zaidan called a halt to proceedings for 20 minutes and ordered gardai to bring back a thermometer.

Judge Zaidan rose from the bench to allow all present to go and warm up with a hot drink while gardai went in search for the thermometer.

A reading of minus one degree was recorded inside the court house at 12.45pm by Inspector Jim Doyle despite a sophisicated underfloor heating system installed in the landmark building.

“The reading is minus one from the thermometer,” he said. “It’s actually warmer outside than it is inside.”

Judge Zaidan said to work in such conditions was ‘unacceptable’.

“It is unacceptable,” he said. “To work in these conditions and especially for members of the public to work in these conditions. It’s freezing.”

He also said his chamber was colder than the main body of the court but he refused to adjourn the whole sitting and later in the after noon the temperature went up to one degree.

He added that there had been an issue with the timer on the heating system, and that the court caretaker had done his best.

Meanwhile members of the public, solicitors and the press wore their hats, scarves and kept their coats on throughout the day.

- Paula Campbell