The Courts Service has responded to Cllr Thomasina Connell's criticism of the management of Portlaoise Courthouse to say that they are “surprised” and “puzzled”.
“We are surprised at the comments about Portlaoise courthouse being dirty. The courthouse is always cleaned to a high standard and the outside area is regularly power washed.
“The responsibility for the emptying of the public bins near the courthouse is a matter for the council. Our own bins are regularly emptied throughout the day," a spokesperson for the Courts Service told the Leinster Express.
Cllr Connell who is also a solicitor and regularly attends the courthouse, had tabled a motion to the July 2020 meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, saying "if it's a reflection of Portlaoise, it's a poor show".
“We are also puzzled as to criticism as to numbers around the court building, as currently the courthouse is open for essential business only - which has limited the numbers in attendance for some months.
“There are not great numbers in and about the courthouse since we introduced pandemic restrictions in March.
“ This is to maintain social distancing requirements.
“Extensive signage is in place and family law and civil lists have been staggered to facilitate same.
“Only small numbers attend court for each time slot on the list.
“Staff are available on any busier court day to direct people and provide them with information and are assisted by Gardai when required.
“We do not have control or authority to stop people loitering on footpaths in the vicinity.
“This is a matter for a matter for the Gardai,” a spokes person said.
They gave the following update on the progress to build a new courthouse on the edge of the town.
“The Courts Service purchase of a site at Kylekiproe, for use to build a new courthouse in Portlaoise, has been completed.
“The Courts Service will deliver this by way of a bundle of new projects approved by government for business case planning.”