464. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice the alternative temporary location for Roscommon District Court; when it is envisaged that the relocation will take place; the reason this has not happened to date; when works will commence on the refurbishment of the courthouse; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56946/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be 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 carrying out its functions. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided me with the following update on Roscommon Town Courthouse.
The Government's revised National Development Plan 2021 -2030 includes a number of Courts Service capital building projects to be completed during the period of the plan, including the Hammond Lane Family Law Complex and the provision of further new or refurbished courthouses in cities and county towns, including in Roscommon.
The Courts Service informs me that it has commenced the process of identifying/acquiring suitable sites for those projects to be completed over the period of the Plan. Additional space on the historic Roscommon Courthouse site has already been acquired from the Local Authority to facilitate the future expansion/refurbishment of the courthouse.
Due to the poor condition of the historic courthouse in Roscommon, I am informed that the Courts Service has had no option but to source alternative accommodation until such time as the refurbishment project is completed. The Courts Service recognises the local importance of having court sittings in the town. With this in mind, a temporary premises has been sourced at Racecourse Road and I am informed that the fit out will commence shortly dependent on the successful conclusion of lease arrangements. The temporary premises will be capable of hosting multiple defendant jury trials - which currently cannot be accommodated in the historic courthouse. I understand that the temporary premises is expected to be operational towards the end of Q2 2022, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.