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Question

120. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the outcome of the assessment by the Courts Service of the availability of suitable accommodation in the commercial market to address accommodation issues in Dolphin House, Dublin 2. [12574/16]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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 exercising its functions.
However, in order to be of assistance, I have had inquiries made and I am informed that the Courts Service is aware that the court accommodation in Dolphin House and for family law in Dublin generally is not at all what they would desire it to be. It is for this reason that there are plans for a dedicated and integrated Family Law and Children’s Court building on a site at Church Street and Hammond Lane, adjacent to the Four Courts. This will provide new family law courts for the District, Circuit and High Courts in a single location with associated facilities. This project is part of the Government’s capital expenditure programme for 2016 - 2021 and is to be delivered by way of Public Private Partnership. Work is currently underway on the planning and design of the building. More immediately, the Courts Service proposes that additional facilities for child care cases will be provided in a courthouse in Chancery Street which will be available later this year. I am informed that this will alleviate pressure on accommodation in Dolphin House and will address some of the shortcomings in that building. Question No. 121 answered with Question No. 119.