Achill fears closure of island courthouse
AN ISLAND community in Co Mayo is in danger of losing its courthouse in a review which is being carried out by the Courts Service.
If the axe does fall on Achill courthouse, local court users will have to make a 73km journey to Belmullet, which is the chosen alternative venue.
Three other district court sittings in Mayo, Westport, Swinford and Ballyhaunis are also being considered for closure, with Castlebar, where there are modern, refurbished court facilities, listed as the alternative venue.
The Courts Service has stressed no final decisions on the venues will be made without a full consultation process involving all court users including local judiciary, the Garda, the legal profession, the Prison Service and local court staff.
Mayo TD John O’Mahony has said that if the closures go ahead, the only court venues remaining in Mayo will be Castlebar, Ballina and Mayo.
Mr O’Mahony added: “Large swathes of Co Mayo, which geographically is the third-largest county in the State, will be left without a courthouse if these closures are implemented.
“Travelling long distances to the proposed alternative venues will place a heavier financial burden on the ordinary members of the community which the courts were set up to facilitate,” he added.