Brady accuses Fianna Fail of allowing court to close
THE revitalisation of Wicklow Courthouse is top of the agenda with many Wicklow TDs it seems and Deputy John Brady is now calling on his Fianna Fáil counterparts to use their relationship with Fine Gael to get the facility back open.
Recently Fianna Fáíl Deputies Pat Casey and Stephen Donnelly, along with their party colleague Cllr Gail Dunne, said they wanted to see the courthouse reopened to bring life back to the heart of Wicklow town.
Sinn Fein deputy John Brady has, somewhat caustically, welcomed the party’s ‘change of heart’ after, he claims, ‘standing idly by and allowing it to close’ in 2010.
Circuit Court sittings ended at Wicklow Courthouse in 2008, with District Court sittings coming to an end in 2010.
‘I have had several correspondences with both the previous Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD and the Courts Service regarding the former courthouse,’ said Deputy Brady.
‘In April, I sought the annual costs involved in maintaining the unused courthouse from the then Minister Fitzgerald. In 2015 and 2016, the Courts Service spent almost €13,000 on heat, light and fuel costs with just over €4,000 spent on security costs between the years 2012 and 2014.
‘I have asked both the Minister and the Courts Service to examine reopening the courthouse in Wicklow town and I understand from both that there are no immediate plans in place to reopen the courthouse,’ he said.
‘ The OPW is currently undertaking a survey of the building to establish its condition and I await these findings. I will continue to work towards the reopening of the courthouse.
‘If Fianna Fáil are genuine about reopening the courthouse in Wicklow town they should use their confidence and supply agreement with Fine Gael to secure the funding needed to resume the court service in the town,’ said Deputy Brady.
Recently, the Court Services indicated that it would take in the region of €10 million to refurbish the building. However, Wicklow hasn’t been included in the list of courthouses to face refurbishment under the Action Plan for Rural Development over the next 18 months.
A few weeks ago, Deputies Casey and Donnelly and Cllr Dunne, launched a petition calling on him to honour the 2015 commitment that Wicklow Courthouse would be refurbished and put to work for the town. They hope to present it to the Minister for Justice this month.
Members of the public can sign the petition by calling into Deputy Casey’s constituency office in Market Square or online at www.change.org/p/court-servicesof-ireland-wicklow-courthouse-must-berefurbushed.
Deputy John Brady