Judge loses cool over courtroom climate

"THREE strikes and you're out," is the warning Judge Gerard Haughton gave to the Court Services as he apologised for the second time for cold conditions at Tullamore District Court.

"THREE strikes and you're out," is the warning Judge Gerard Haughton gave to the Court Services as he apologised for the second time for cold conditions at Tullamore District Court.

"It's not fair that you should have to attend court in conditions such as this," he told those present at Wednesday's sitting.

However, he added that the cold was not quite as bad as the last time two weeks earlier in the main courtroom downstairs.

On that day, conditions had been 'atrocious,' he said. He repeated that the heating isn't adequate in the building and accepted that the Court Service is working on the problem.

He also said he's aware that a lot of money has been spent on the new courthouse, which was reopened in 2007 following renovation works. However, he called for action.

"It's nearly time I said to the people who run this place – and I don't mean to be critical of them – three strikes, and you're out."

There are three courtrooms which are regularly used in the building. The main courtroom is a large, double-height room and conditions were freezing there two weeks ago when the judge first apologised for the inadequate heating.

Following that, the next district court hearing moved upstairs to a smaller, more modern room usually used for Circuit Court sittings.

However, in the second week of use, heaters were brought in in a vain attempt to raise temperatures and the judge made his second apology to those present who again wore coats, gloves, scarves and rubbed their hands to keep warm.