THE Irish Prison Service has confirmed that Limerick District Court will be relocated to a more secure location on Henry Street close to the city's garda headquarters.
The Limerick Leader revealed in July that the Office of Public Works was
in negotiations with two developers in the city, and it is now understood that the proposed new site for the district courthouse is
the former post office which is part of a major redevelopment project by
Robert Butler Group.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Kiely said if he did not get a firm undertaking from the Department of Justice and the Office of Public Works that the courthouse is indeed going to be moved, he is "going to take a conscious decision and not accept any further dignitaries at City Hall."
The mayor, who welcomed the German Ambassador to Limerick last Thursday, said: "I am not going to put them (visiting dignitaries) in a situation where they could get caught up in a fracas outside the courthouse, like what happened last Wednesday."
Successive mayors have called for the relocation of the district courthouse, which currently forms part of City Hall on Merchant's Quay, because of the often chaotic scenes on the steps of the building in front of tourists visiting St Mary's Cathedral, and members of the public who attend Limerick City Council offices.
Mayor Kiely, who worked at the former post office from 1976 to 1986
said the building on Henry Street is ideally suited for a courthouse.
"There is a courtyard area in the plans, and it would be ideal for prison vans and patrol cars and it wouldn't be seen by the general public. "It would solve the problem of the courthouse, once and for all," he said.
The Mayor said the Office of Public Works should sign contracts with
the developer and agree a design brief for a permanent court, not just a temporary facility.
Space in Henry Street Garda Station is at a premium, and Mayor Kiely
suggested that the building across the road from the station should house the Traffic Corps and detectives.