The Office of Public Works (OPW) has appointed an architect for the proposed extension of Waterford Courthouse, with plans due to be prepared by the end of the year and tender documents thereafter to follow.
Courts Service CEO Brendan Ryan informed Deputy O’Shea that two High Court Judges travel to Waterford for two sessions of two weeks each year to try personal injury actions.
“When the High Court sits in provincial venues it traditionally takes precedence over normal sittings of the Circuit and District Courts which are suspended for the duration of the High Court session,” said the Labour TD.
“This does not have any impact on Circuit and District Courts in most locations but Waterford Courthouse has only two courtrooms.
“Consequently the High Court sittings displace all the business of the local Circuit and District Courts.”
He added: “The increase in the volume of the work in those courts has had a detrimental effect on the administration of justice in the Waterford area, especially the District Court where most of the cases are criminal prosecutions.
In an attempt to maintain the High Court’s presence in Waterford pending the refurbishment of the courthouse as is, the Courts Service examined the availability of alternative locations for court sittings in Waterford.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.