Expressions of interest have been lodged with North Tipperary County Council into the use of Templemore and Roscrea Courthouses, with negotiations at an advanced stage in relation to the Templemore facility, The Tipperary Star can reveal.
The two Courthouses - iconic buildings in the North Tipperary towns - were closed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in the last year or so following a major shake-up of the manner in which the District and Circuit Courts are operated. The court sittings were transferred to Nenagh and Thurles District Courts with the aim being to save money by not having to run the two sizeable buildings.
And, the question then arose as to what to do with the buildings. North Tipperary County Council, which has responsibility for the up-keep and maintaining of the buildings, sought expressions of interest from bodies, groups etc and received a number.
In relation to Templemore, Senior Executive Officer Rosemary Joyce informed Cllr Michael Smith, who had raised the issue at the monthly meeting of the council, that negotiations are continuing with an interested party. However, since the building is a listed one, planning permission would be required to do any major alterations or renovations.
Cllr Smith was also informed by Ms Joyce that there had been an interested party in the Roscrea building, but that interest has ceased and the building will now be put up for further expressions of interest.
Cllr Smith said that it was very regrettable that the Roscrea situation has arisen as the building is vacant almost a year now. He encouraged the council to do everything in it’s power to secure tenants for the buildings in both Templemore and Roscrea.