Courts closure concern

OFFALY will lose yet another courthouse with the closure of Portarlington’s Courthouse.

OFFALY will lose yet another courthouse with the closure of Portarlington’s Courthouse.

The town’s courthouse will not open in the New Year and the business from the district, which straddles both Offaly and Laois, will transfer to both Tullamore and Portlaoise.

It is understood that the closure follows a review of services designed to ensure the best use of resources and to ensure courthouses meet the standards users are entitled to expect.

A spokesperson for the Court Services said the closure will free up judicial and staff time and lead to more cases being heard on fuller days in busier locations.

Meanwhile, several Offaly County Councillors voiced their concerns about the closure of services in the county.

Independent councillor, John Carroll put forward a motion at this month’s Offaly County Council meeting that the Council calls on the court services to retain the Birr Courthouse as a venue for circuit court sittings.

Supporting Cllr Carroll’s motion, Fianna Fail councillor, Peter Ormond said it was important that the Council write to the Court Services outlining the importance of the Court services provided in Birr after the town saw the removal of the circuit sittings from its district recently.

Fianna Fail councillor, Eddie Fitzpatrick noted the Portarlington closure and said that it was important that the local court services be retained in each area.