East Clare court sittings move to bar/restaurant


THE SEARCH for a new court venue for east Clare has ended with the Courts Service striking a deal with a pub.

It was confirmed yesterday that those facing charges, including assaults, public order breaches and motoring offences, should make their way to O’Donovan’s bar and restaurant at Ballina/Killaloe on the shores of Lough Derg from January 3rd.

This is when court sittings for the east Clare area will begin on a trial basis. It is understood the bar is the only licensed premises in the Courts Service’s western region used as a court venue.

Publican Michael O’Donovan yesterday assured users of the court that the bar would not be open during court times. “Oh God no, not at all. The court sitting will take place in a private function room. There is a bar there, but it will be screened off while the court is on.” Mr O’Donovan said soup would be provided for court users.

The deal between the Courts Service and O’Donovan’s followed an inspection by court officials of the venue. A Courts Service spokesman said yesterday: “O’Donovan’s bar and restaurant has been identified as a place for court sittings on a temporary basis. We are quite happy that we have identified reasonable facilities.”

The move will eliminate the need for court users to make the 64-mile round trip to Ennis that they have been forced to take since September, when court sittings were suspended when the previous venue, the Kincora Hotel, went into receivership.