10 Aug 2022

Court Service urged to clean up Portlaoise courthouse and prevent loiterers

Portlaoise Courthouse

Portlaoise Courthouse on Main Street

The image of Portlaoise Courthouse is letting the town down, according to a Laois councillor who is also a solicitor.

Loiterers on the front steps, littering and a dirty building exterior were all causes of complaint by Cllr Thomasina Connell.

She tabled a motion to the July meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District asking for the Court Service to be contacted.

"More needs to be done. The two bins at the steps are always filthy and full of fags, with coffee cups strewn on the street. The building needs to be powerwashed. If it's a reflection of Portlaoise, it's a poor show," she said.

She said that loitering around the front of the building is against the law.

"People are hanging around whether they are in court or not. The only people to move these people on are the Gardaí. They can take people off the steps," she said.

Cllr Connell asked Laois County Council to write to the Courts Service.

She also wants an update on the plan for a new courthouse.

The council reply is that there is no update.

It is last February since the announcement that the Courts Services had executed the contract for sale to buy the site for the new courthouse in Portlaoise.

"Given the intervention of Covid-19, the council had not in the interim sought updates on the progress of the closure of the sale," Donal Brennan Director of Services replied.

Cllr Connell's motion was seconded and welcomed by Cllr Willie Aird.

"Covid shouldn't be stopping the progress of the new courthouse. If you don't keep on top of these things, it will be five years away," he said.

Cllr Mary Sweeney said that people loitering on the steps was "terribly intimidating and frightening".

Covid-19 restrictions require people to keep two metres apart.

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