263. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to address the ongoing delays in the issuing of grants of probate and administrations from the Courts Service in relation to deceased estates in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5782/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the issue of grants of probate and administration for County Offaly are dealt with in the District Probate Registry in Mullingar and that there is a total of 12 applications currently on hand for County Offaly, the oldest application having been received on 27 December 2017. The Courts Service has also informed me that it expects that 3 of the current applications on hand for County Offaly will be finalised in the near future and that the balance have been returned to Solicitors with queries or are currently being processed.
The current waiting time for applications to be dealt with in the Mullingar District Probate Registry is 4/5 weeks once the applications received are fully and accurately completed and it is not necessary to raise queries thereon. The Courts Service has advised that there are no delays in the processing of applications for grants of probate or administration in respect of County Offaly.