A MAJOR rally will mark what is expected to be the end of nearly a 1,000 years of court sittings in Roscrea this week, when local community groups take to the streets to protest against the closure of the town’s historic courthouse.
Local solicitors, business people, and community leaders will take to the street at 10am on Thursday morning outside the centuries’ old building to protest against what one Solicitor called a “unilateral decision” to shut the Courthouse. According to figures seen by the Tipperary Star, it will cost more to shut Roscrea Courthouse than to keep it open.
According to Mr Brendan Hyland, the Court Service “appear to have made up their mind” without consultation with any of the parties involved, “either the police, social services, legal practitioners, or any members of the public.”
Recently, a representative group from Roscrea met with the Courts Service in Dublin to discuss the matter. “In the course of the meeting,” said Mr Hyland, “it emerged that the only savings that they claim will be made will be a miserly E8,000. This will be made up of the driving expenses for the Judge and the District Court Clerk to travel to Nenagh from Roscrea. As the County Council owns the building, no rent is payable.”
“We estimage that it will cost the State and the public in excess of E100,000 to move the Court from Roscrea to Nenagh. Instead of two people to Roscrea, up to 70 people at each sitting will have to travel to Nenagh.”
Mr Hyland added: “The Gardai’s rostering programme will be completely upset and there will be little or no cover while Courts are taking place in Nenagh. This will create logistical problems. Local gardai have confirmed this to us. Also, the Social Services who are involved with the persons in court will be discommoded as well as the solicitors and the general public.”
Mr Hyland concluded by saying the entire community is very upset by the “unilateral decision.” “Roscrea has had its court for nearly 1,000 years.” The protest is being organised by John Lupton, chairman of the Roscrea Community and Development Council (RCDC).