Minister Flanagan officially opens €35m refurbishment and extension of Cork Courthouse on Anglesea Street

 

28 May 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today officially opened the newly refurbished and extended Courthouse on Anglesea Street in Cork. The €34.8m project is on the site of the Old Model Primary School, which originally opened in 1865 before closing in 1990 and being first transformed into a Courthouse in 1995.

 

Speaking at the opening, also attended by the Chief Justice Mr Frank Clarke, the Minister said: “Courthouses serve us all. They may not be places the average person visits unless they need or have to, but they represent so much. In any community, they are the physical manifestation of the rule of law, reminding us that we live in a full and free democracy with independent administration of justice at the very heart of it. The extension of this Courthouse is going to make a huge difference to those who use it. Whether a person comes here to work, to seek vindication, to face justice, or as a jury member to pass judgement… everyone will now enter a courthouse which integrates the old and the new, respecting our built heritage exemplified in the Model School and contrasting this with a modern building sculpted from Irish limestone to provide a modern courthouse for Cork City.”

 

The volume of court business conducted in Cork City is second only to Dublin. Almost 26,000 criminal, civil and family matters were dealt with by the District Court in 2017. The Circuit Court dealt with civil cases and state appeals at 8 venues around the county with family and criminal matters dealt with in Cork City - approximately 4,000 matters were dealt with in 2017. In addition, the High Court sits in Cork for up to 16 weeks per year dealing with both Personal Injury cases and non-Jury matters. The Central Criminal Court also sits in Cork, including for the coming months of June and July. The provision of the new courthouse in Anglesea Street will facilitate the continued delivery of court sittings in Cork as well as adding capacity to allow for additional sittings across the different jurisdictions. It will also provide courtroom capacity to facilitate new business such as the Court of Criminal Appeal to sit in Cork as required.

 

The Minister added: “This going to be a busy courthouse, dealing with cases that represent, for many of the people involved, considerable stress. A courthouse is a place where life-changing decisions can occur. It is a place where complex and sensitive issues that affect people’s lives are dealt with. It can be intimidating but that is why it is so good to see the enhancements here. The new Courthouse has six courtrooms, two non-jury and four jury, as well as secure circulation areas for Judges, Jurors and those in custody. It also includes a vulnerable witness suite, a victim support room, a legal practitioners’ room, enhanced custody facilities, jury reception room, consultation rooms and other support facilities. I am confident that this new courthouse will meet the needs of Cork and the surrounding area for many decades to come.”

 

The refurbishment and extension is the biggest project in the Courts Public Private Partnership Bundle which has delivered a total of 31 courtrooms and 36,000 square metres of accommodation nationwide. The project follows the opening of new and refurbished Courthouses in Drogheda, Letterkenny, Wexford, Limerick and Waterford over recent months. The last project in the Courts PPP Bundle, the substantial refurbishment and extension of Mullingar Courthouse, is due to be delivered in the coming week and opened later this year.

 

ENDS

 

Note for editors

 

New Cork Courthouse

The new courthouse has a floor area of close to 8,500m2. The capital cost was c.€34.8m. Facilities include six courtrooms and a new public office. User facilities include a vulnerable witness suite, victim support room, legal practitioners room, enhanced custody facilities, jury reception room, consultation rooms and other support facilities. The courtrooms are all accessible. All circulation routes within the building – public, staff/judiciary, custody and jury are fully accessible. It is the sixth building in the Courts PPP Bundle to become operational.

 

Courts PPP bundle

In July 2012, the Government announced a €2.25bn infrastructure stimulus programme which included the construction or extension/refurbishment of seven courthouses (called the ‘Courts PPP Bundle’). In terms of scale, the Courts PPP Bundle is the largest capital building project ever undertaken by the Courts Service, delivering a total of 31 courtrooms and 36,000 m2 of accommodation nationwide.

 

 

Location

 

Courthouse Buildings

Existing Area

New Area

Total Area2

Drogheda, Co. Louth

A new courthouse consisting of two

courtrooms and associated facilities to be constructed on a landmark town centre site adjacent to the River Boyne.

0m2

1,354m2

1,354m2

Letterkenny,

Co. Donegal

A new courthouse to accommodate four

courtrooms and associated facilities to be constructed on a town centre site close to the

existing courthouse.

0m2

5,027m2

5,027m2

Limerick City

A new criminal courthouse to be built on a

site adjacent to Limerick Prison, to include six courtrooms, custody facilities, court

offices and associated facilities.

259m2

7,350m2

7,609m2

Wexford

Town

The refurbishment and extension of an

existing landmark building to provide a new courthouse for Wexford Town consisting of four courtrooms, Custody facilities, court offices and associated facilities.

430m2

4,272m2

4,702m2

Cork City

The refurbishment and extension of the

existing landmark courthouse building at Anglesea Street to accommodate six courtrooms, improved custody facilities, court offices, the regional office and associated facilities.

1,556m2

6,934m2

8,490m2

Mullingar, Co.

Westmeath

The refurbishment and extension of the

existing historic courthouse in Mullingar to accommodate three courtrooms, improved custody facilities, court offices and associated facilities.

1,798m2

1,459m2

3,257m2

Waterford

City

The refurbishment and extension of the

existing historic courthouse in Waterford to accommodate six courtrooms improved

custody facilities, court offices and associated facilities.

1,133m2

5,259m2

6,392m2

Totals

5,176m2

31,655m2

36,831m2