225. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the project to refurbish and extend the historic courthouse in Waterford city; the timeframe for it to be completed; the timeframe for the first sitting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8135/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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 inquiries made and the Courts Service has advised that Waterford Courthouse is one of seven courthouses nationwide which are currently being delivered as part of a Public Private Partnership under the Government's Infrastructure Stimulus programme.
The Courts Service has informed me that works at Waterford Courthouse are now substantially complete and the courthouse is expected to be handed over to the Courts Service within the next couple of weeks. Court sittings will commence a short time thereafter following the move from the temporary courthouse at Grace Dieu in Waterford. The newly extended and refurbished courthouse will provide significantly improved facilities for all court users in Waterford.
New or refurbished courthouses have already been completed at Drogheda, Letterkenny, Wexford and Limerick and the Courts Service has also advised that refurbished and extended courthouses at Cork and Mullingar are expected to be completed by early summer 2018.