23 February 2017:

A trawl of Galway City is currently taking place in an effort to find a location for a new state-of-the-art courthouse – it is hoped that it can be provided by the end of next year.

The existing courthouse at Woodquay has been deemed no longer fit for purpose and the Courts Service have confirmed they have already looked at a number of potential sites.

The fact they are anxious to locate as close as possible to the city centre is making the process of finding a suitable site all the more difficult.

It is understood that a number of potential sites have already been looked at – including one beside the new Garda Headquarters under construction in Renmore.

Sites closer to the city such as Fisheries Field and The Black Box have also been examined, along with a number of other city centre locations.

It is estimated that it would cost in the region of €10 million to €15 million to provide the new courthouse.

A significant amount of this cost would be offset by the sale of the existing courthouse – arts groups and other commercial interests have already expressed an interest in acquiring the building.

Because of the increasing numbers of court sittings in Galway, conditions are cramped and a larger building with more facilities is required.

As it stands there are just three courtrooms in the existing building which is insufficient given the demand for additional accommodation. The new courthouse will have at least six courtrooms.

The Courts Service are currently in the process of constructing seven new courthouses across the country as part of a €120 million investment.

The second phase of development will involve the provision of a further five new courthouses and Galway is part of this plan. It is expected that a new site will be identified by the end of this year at the latest.

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