Courthouses not fit for purpose

Sir, – I recently attended a courthouse in Midleton in Cork as a peer supporter for a family friend regarding an in camera hearing.

While waiting outside the courthouse, I noted a large number of persons standing on the footpath with their legal advisers. This courthouse is situated on a busy junction with a high volume of traffic, with a bus stop directly outside. After the court opened, I was amazed and somewhat shocked to find out that business would be conducted between clients and legal advisers on the footpath as there were no facilities or rooms available for private consultations. These consultations went on all day on the footpath for all the world to see and hear.

I was informed by a number of solicitors in attendance and other persons present that this happens regularly, including during the freezing and wet winter months.

How can this be, with all the money that has been expended on different State projects, that we are still operating a justice system for private in camera matters on footpaths at courthouses not fit for purpose?

I have seen some rare and dilapidated buildings and courthouses in my years in the criminal justice system in law enforcement, but here we are today still operating archaic outdated and totally unsuitable buildings not fit for purpose where sensitive and highly emotive family issues are being conducted on footpaths.

Why hasn’t the Department of Justice or the Courts Service done something about these poorly equipped facilities, which only adds to the tension and stress of all concerned who attend places like Midleton? – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.