Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan performed the official opening with Chief Justice Frank Clarke Picture: Adrian Butler
THE Minister for Justice says he is confident Limerick’s new multi-million euro courthouse will meet the needs of Limerick and the surrounding areas “for decades to come”.
Charlie Flanagan made his comments on Monday evening as he performed the official opening of the courthouse at Mulgrave Street.
Located near Limerick Prison on the site of a 19th-century former artillery barracks, the €26 million complex contains six courtrooms, including the largest courtroom in Ireland.
The courthouse, which opened in the middle of February, will primarily host sittings of Limerick District Court and Limerick Circuit Court while civil and family law matters will still be heard at the historic County Courthouse at Merchant’s Quay.
Current and former members of the judiciary, barristers, solicitors, politicians and other court users attended the opening ceremony. Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, said the new building was a welcome addition to the city.
“I think what all of these new buildings are doing is bringing together the best thinking in how a modern courthouse needs to operate. It’s not just the courtrooms, which are very fine in themselves but there are the ancillary facilities that are needed – both for judges and those working in the courts – and also for the parties whose cases come before the courts,” he told the Limerick Leader.
In his speech to a packed courtroom 3, Minister Flanagan said the new courthouse is a “landmark civic building” for Limerick.
“This newest civic additon in Limerick will make a great contribution to the life of the city for many years to come. To have a local courthouse that’s accessible, that’s modern, that’s user friendly, that has such additions as a vulnerable witness suite, custody facilities, a jury reception room and adequate consultation rooms is a welcome addition,” he said noting that more than 20,000 matters came before Limerick District Court in 2016 alone.
The new courthouse was built by BAM as part of a Public Private Partnership which will see seven new courthouses built across the country.