The delivery of a Court Service plan for the Kilcock area will take place in the near future and this will include a consultation process, Kildare North Labour General Election candidate, Emmet Stagg, has been told.
Mr Stagg said he was was in contact with the Minister for Justice about the provision of new court facilities in North Kildare “given the commitment contained in the Ireland 2040 plan of a county town type facility in north Kildare and the continuing use of Naas District Court for the District Court Area of Kilcock.”
Mr. Stagg said the Kilcock District Court Area covers Maynooth, Kilcock, Straffan, Rathcoffey and a large part of west county Kildare.
Since September 2016, all Kilcock District Court Cases have been heard in Naas District Court. Originally Kilcock Court was to reopen in November 2016, but major issues with the building have meant it has remained closed.
“The Minister has indicated that priority at present within the Courts Service is major investment in court facilities such as Tralee, Galway, Wicklow, Portlaoise and Roscommon. The Minister further indicated that the Courts Service plan to review the future delivery of court services in the District Court Area of Kilcock in the near future and that this will include a local consultation process.
Mr. Stagg said that a review of the delivery of court services was promised previously and hopefully this new promise will be fulfilled given the importance of the delivery of District Court services locally.
In January 2017, the Courts Service told the Leinster Leader today there were health and safety issues which cost a lot to fix at Kilcock District Court house and it did not have the funding. Apart from that there were parking and administrative issues, it said.
A spokesperson said then: “The Courthouse in Kilcock has been closed because of a number of health and safety issues associated with the building.
“There is leakage through the roof, there are concerns about the electrical systems and there have been problems with rodents.
“The Courts Service is also advised that there may be asbestos present.
Addressing these problems will be costly and the Courts Service does not have funding to undertake such work at this time.
“A review of courthouse security has also reported significant problems in Kilcock courthouse, including the absence of secure parking and access for the judge and the absence of cells and secure access for persons in custody.
Facilities for the public and legal practitioners are also very limited.
The layout of the building and the courtroom do not provide a proper environment for the administration of justice.
It will not be possible to address these concerns within the current structure.
“The Courts Service is considering how best to address the needs of court users in the area having regard to the factors outlined above, and ensure that the safety and security of court users, staff and judges is maintained.
“The Courts Service will be consulting local court users in this regard in the near future.”