THE recent severe flooding in Limerick has impacted on sittings of the High Court, which is sitting in the city this week and next week.
Personal injury cases, which were due to be heard at the County Courthouse on Merchants Quay, are instead being heard at the Hunt Museum as no other courtroom was available.
The temporary measure was put in place as the District Court offices at the courthouse adjacent to City Hall remain closed as a result of the flooding.
Much of Merchants Quay and the Potato Market were flooded on February 1 and the ground floor offices were under several inches of water at the peak of the floods.
Works to repair the offices are ongoing but in the meantime, both the public office and the adjacent garda office have been closed for health and safety reasons.
Courts Service staff have relocated to Courtroom 3 in the County Courthouse which means the courtroom is not available for use as a courtroom.
A spokesman the Courts Service confirmed that due to recent flood damage to an office area of Limerick Courthouse one of the courtrooms was being temporarily used as office space.
“The damaged area is currently under repair. As two High Courts were scheduled to sit this week in Limerick, the Courts Service located suitable accommodation for one of them in the nearby Hunt Museum - to whom we are very grateful. By doing so we were able to ensure there would be no delay in proceedings for those involved,” he said.
Cases being presided over by Mr Justice Iarliath O’Neill proceeded as scheduled at the County Courthouse this week, while cases before Mr Justice David Keane were transferred to an upstairs exhibition room in the Hunt Museum.
The High Court sits in Limerick for a number of brief sessions in any one year and had cases not proceeded there would have been considerable delays for the parties involved.
Sittings of Limerick District Court and Limerick Circuit Court were not affected and have proceeded as normal this week.
Meanwhile, the Limerick Leader has learned that several court files were water damaged as a result of the flooding earlier this month.
While judges have commented on this, it has not impacted on the hearing of cases in any way.
The recent flood damage is likely to spark calls for the fast-tracking of the new criminal court complex on Mulgrave Street.