Judge Marian O'Leary, left, pictured with Chief Supt Gerard Roche and Judge Mary Emer Larkin at the opening of the new courthouse in January Picture: Adrian Butler
THE presiding judge at Limerick District Court is to bring in new rules in an effort to reduce the number of cases which are being repeatedly adjourned.
Judge Marian O’Leary has indicated she is to issue a formal direction in the coming weeks to gardai, legal practitioners and other court users.
She has repeatedly expressed her frustration at cases, some which have been listed on multiple occasions, not proceeding and having to be “adjourned out”.
The current workload of the court means it is not unusual for more than 200 cases to be listed on any one day with defendants and gardai being asked to remain in court for hours waiting for their case to be called.
The court regularly sits past 5pm and there are special sittings of the court most weekends and on bank holidays.
In recent weeks, contested matters have been listed for hearing on dates after Easter 2019 due to the length of the lists.
Judge O’Leary has also indicated she will not be adjourning matters unless a good reason has been put forward to the court.
In recent months, several cases have been adjourned due to difficulties surrounding the availability if witnesses – including gardai due to operational commitments elsewhere.
Delays are also being experienced in securing directions and books of evidence from the DPP in cases which defence solicitors have submitted are “not complex”.
Flagging her intention to circulate the new rules, Judge O’Leary commented the amount of cases which are currently being adjourned is “not on” and cannot continue.