Portlaoise site earmarked for new courthouse

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Site decided for new Portlaoise courthouse.

Portlaoise Courthouse on Main Street.

A site has been chose for the new Portlaoise Courthouse and Laois County Council will be offered the existing premises for free if the project proceeds.

Sean Fleming TD welcomed progress is being made in relation to a site for a new Courthouse in Portlaoise. The Laois TD said the Courts Service attended the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday 13th of July and Deputy Fleming asked for an update in relation to plans for a new Courthouse in Portlaoise.

"The Courts Service confirmed to me that they had recently met with Laois County Council to examine a particular site in Portlaoise. This site is located near the Laois County Council offices and will be adjacent to the new Southern Circular road which will link the Abbeyleix Road to the Timahoe Road. The Courts Service said that there are significant issues to be dealt with including the fact that the road has not yet been built and there are a number of ESB wires overhanging the site," he said.

Deputy Fleming stated that he felt that both of these items could be overcome and he asked the Courts Services to work with Laois County Council to do everything possible to finalise a decision in respect of the site, so that detailed design and planning could then progress. The Fianna Fáil TD said that while it is great to hear this progress, the outcome in relation to the site is not at a final stage.

"The current location of the Courthouse in Main Street, Portlaoise has caused significant disruption to members of the public and traders in this area and there is wide-spread support for the relocation of the Courthouse.

"The Courts Service also confirmed to me that every time they vacate a Courthouse throughout the country, they offer it to the Local Authority free of charge," he said.

"Deputy Fleming welcomed this good news and has asked Laois County Council to consider the best possible use in the interest of the public for the existing Courthouse which is in excellent condition and can benefit Portlaoise town centre and the general public," he said.

The existing court house has been the site of repeated public order incidents. Traffic has also been hit because of parking issues.