156. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Justice the status of plans to build a new county town-type courthouse in Bray, County Wicklow; the progress made to transfer the vacant former courthouse on Boghall Road, Bray; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57736/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): 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 the performance of 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.
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 where facilities remain sub-standard, including in Bray.
I am informed by the Courts Service that the priority project for the period up to 2025 is the proposed new Family Law complex in Hammond Lane. The timing and delivery of the remaining projects, including Bray, will be dependent on the availability of funding over the remainder of the NDP.
With regard to the former courthouse on Boghall Road in Bray, the Deputy will be aware that this building has been vacant since 2006, when court sittings and services were relocated to alternative accommodation in the town centre. While the NDP provides for the construction of new courthouses at various locations including Bray, the Boghall Road site is considered unsuitable in terms of both size and location. The Courts Service has informed me that, following receipt of a request from Wicklow County Council earlier this month, a decision has been made to transfer the building back to the Council for community use.