Courts face backlog after cases postponed due to Storm Ophelia
District Courts due to reopen, but blocked roads could cause further delays
Just two of the State’s courts sat during Storm Ophelia. Photograph: Collins
Many courts will have a significant backlog of cases to deal with this week after the cancellation of all sittings on Monday due to Storm Ophelia.
Court users, lawyers and jurors were told late on Sunday night that Monday’s sittings were cancelled and that courts would sit again on Tuesday.
Just two courts sat in the State yesterday. The president of the District Court Rosemary Hogan heard a list of cases in the Four Courts dealing with child care. The cases had to be heard because they involved child care orders which were due to expire.
In the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin a judge heard a short list of cases which could not be postponed as they involved suspects who had been in Garda custody over the weekend.
Mondays are often the busiest days of the week in the courts, meaning many cases will have to carry over until Tuesday or another date.
A Courts Service spokesman said it will be up to each individual court to decide when the postponed cases will be held. Cases which were due to be heard in the High Court have been listed for Monday, October 23rd.
Several criminal trials, including two murder trials, were adjourned until Tuesday, as was the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank executive Tiarnan O’Mahoney, who is accused of conspiring to destroy, mutilate or falsify records of accounts allegedly connected to the bank’s former chief executive Sean FitzPatrick.
There have been no reports of damage to court buildings due to the storm and all scheduled District Courts are also expected to reopen this morning, although blocked roads in many parts of the country mean many hearings could be delayed.