High Court hears plea to reopen Tipperary Town Courthouse

The fight to have Tipperary Town courthouse renovated and reopened has been taken to the High Court in Dublin.

The fight to have Tipperary Town courthouse renovated and reopened has been taken to the High Court in Dublin.

Several Tipperary based solicitors have come together and taken an action in the High Court in their attempts to have the historic building repaired, renovated and reopened for regular court sittings of the district court and circuit courts.

Tipperary court house was first closed in 2010 when part of an internal ceiling collapsed.

At that time most people believed it would be a temporary closure, because two years before, it had been agreed the Department of Justice and the OPW would undertake repairs.

However, the local solicitors were later informed that repairs would not be carried out.

At the High Court last week, the solicitors claimed that closing the courthouse was causing hardship for people of the town.

Circuit court cases are now heard in Clonmel, while district court sittings take place in the nearby Excel Heritage Centre.

The Courts Service denies it has failed in its duties, and despite being constrained by budget cuts, it has sought funding for repair of the courthouse and provided an alternative venue for the hearing of court cases.

High Court judge Mr George Birmingham heard the case last week, and said that he would give his decision in April.

Local county councillor Denis Leahy has raised the matter at the council on several occasions.

He told The Nationalist that the courthouse is a listed building and if a private person had a listen building they would be prosecuted by the council for not repairing it.

If repairs had been carried out when the building was first closed then they would have cost only a fraction of what works now need to be carried out, he added.

“I’m appalled. Tipperary town has suffered a lot over the years, the loss of the courthouse to our town would be a huge significance,” he continued.

“The circuit court is a huge loss to us, it would bring in people who stayed overnight in guest houses and hotels.

“I would hope something positive would be done. As it is now it’s a shadow of what it was.”

The local independent councillor said that he would be watching the outcome of the High Court case with interest.