333. Deputy Gabrielle McFadden asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the contract to refurbish Mullingar Courthouse in County Westmeath will be signed; when construction will commence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40481/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that they are now at an advanced stage in planning the proposed refurbishment of Mullingar Courthouse which is part of the Government's infrastructure stimulus package.
The proposed refurbishment of Mullingar Courthouse is part of a bundle of seven courthouse projects currently being developed by way of Public Private Partnership. The procurement of this project is at an advanced stage and the contract is expected to be signed in the coming weeks. I am informed that it is anticipated that work will start on site before the end of the year and courts sitting in Mullingar have been relocated to a temporary venue to facilitate the construction work.