Dún Laoghaire business owners meet over planned closure of courthouse
Courts Service plans to close four district courts in Dublin
The estimated saving of €40,000 through closing Dún Laoghaire courthouse, which operates five days a week, was “not great enough to merit closing” it, said solicitor Kathy Irwin, who chaired last night’s meeting. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Dún Laoghaire residents and business owners met last night to debate action that may be taken to save the local courthouse from closure, and to discuss a controversy about the suburb’s drug-treatment clinic.
The meeting, organised by the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Ratepayers’ Association, took place last night at a hotel in Dún Laoghaire.
Last month the Courts Service published proposals to close four courts in Dublin, including facilities in Tallaght, Swords and Balbriggan, in an overhaul of Dublin’s district courts.
The consultation for submissions in relation to the proposed changes has been extended to September 5th.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, councillors, legal firms and business groups have made submissions arguing against the proposed plan.
Solicitor Kathy Irwin chaired last night’s debate about action to stop the proposed closure of the courthouse. She said the goal of the meeting was for the public’s “strong and in-depth” opinions to be heard by the Courts Service.
“The closure will have a significant impact on the area and businesses and [to shut the courthouse] is a symbolic lack of faith in the town,” she said.
“The court has been there since the 1880s. Closing it would be taking the heart out of Dún Laoghaire.”
She added: “We’re determined to fight it and stop the closure from happening. It has to be saved.”
Ms Irwin said the estimated saving of €40,000 through closing the building, which operates five days a week, was “not great enough to merit closing the court”.
“It’s another blow to the community. There’s a huge library built on the seafront that people don’t want and then the courthouse is closing, which is really needed in the community for justice to be seen happening; and everybody wants it to stay open,” she said.
“There seems to be a disconnect between the different agencies.”