New €35m courthouse among best in country

New €35m courthouse among best in country
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and the Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr. Justice Frank Clarke, at the official opening of Cork Courthouse, Anglesea Street. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THE new €35 million courthouse in Cork was opened yesterday as the Lord Mayor of Cork pleaded for more funding for local community projects working to keep people out of courtrooms.

The new courts complex at Anglesea Street was officially opened by the Chief Justice of Ireland, Frank Clarke, and the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD.

Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Cork, was the first speaker at the opening ceremony and he stressed the role of crime prevention, particularly through garda juvenile liaison schemes and other projects at community level aimed at keeping young people positively active.

At the official opening of Cork Courthouse, Anglesea Street, Cork, were (from left) Insp. Gary McPolin, Acting Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin, Supt. Charlie Barry, Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, Insp. Ronan Kennelly and Insp. John Deasy. Picture: Denis Minihane.
At the official opening of Cork Courthouse, Anglesea Street, Cork, were (from left) Insp. Gary McPolin, Acting Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin, Supt. Charlie Barry, Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, Insp. Ronan Kennelly and Insp. John Deasy. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“I appeal to all those in power that funding remains in local communities working in partnership with An Garda Síochána to keep as many people out of here and active in their community through sport and community development,” the Lord Mayor said.

Minister Flanagan said: “Whether a person comes here to work; to seek vindication; to face justice; or, as a jury member to pass judgement, everyone will now enter a courthouse which integrates the old and the new, respecting our built heritage, exemplified in the Model School and contrasting this with a modern building sculpted from Irish limestone to provide a modern courthouse for Cork City.

Busy

“It is going to be a busy courthouse. The volume of court business conducted in Cork City is second only to Dublin. Almost 26,000 criminal, civil and family matters were dealt with by the District Court in 2017.

“The Circuit Court dealt with civil cases and state appeals at eight venues around the county with family and criminal matters dealt with in Cork City — approximately 4,000 matters were dealt with in 2017.

“In addition, the High Court sits in Cork for up to 16 weeks per year, dealing with both personal injury cases and non-jury matters. The Central Criminal Court also sits in Cork and I understand that it will be sitting here for the coming months of June and July.

Charlie Flanagan speaking at the official opening of Cork Courthouse, Anglesea Street, in the presence of (from left) Brendan Ryan, CEO, Court Service; Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy, judge of the High Court; Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr. Justice Frank Clarke; Councillor Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor Cork; His Honour Seán Ó Donnabháin of the Circuit Court, and Judge Olan Kelleher of the District Court. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Charlie Flanagan speaking at the official opening of Cork Courthouse, Anglesea Street, in the presence of (from left) Brendan Ryan, CEO, Court Service; Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy, judge of the High Court; Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr. Justice Frank Clarke; Councillor Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor Cork; His Honour Seán Ó Donnabháin of the Circuit Court, and Judge Olan Kelleher of the District Court. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“So that is a lot of cases, cases that represent, for many of the people involved, considerable stress. A courthouse is a place where life-changing decisions can occur. It is a place where complex and sensitive issues that affect people’s lives are dealt with.

“It can be intimidating and that is why it is so good to see the enhancements here.

“The new courthouse has six courtrooms, two non-jury and four jury, as well as secure circulation areas for judges, jurors and those in custody. It also includes a vulnerable witness suite, a victim support room, a legal practitioners’ room, enhanced custody facilities, jury reception room, consultation rooms, and other support facilities.”

Chief Justice of Ireland, Frank Clarke, said: “This fine refurbishment and new building is a very successful solution to providing additional and improved court facilities in the city.

“The improved facilities and the attractive design of the new building, complementing the historic structure, will help create an atmosphere beneficial to all who have business in the courts in Cork. With this project now completed, and with the fine courthouse in Washington Street continuing in operation, Cork city now has what are probably the best court facilities in the country.”

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