521. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he will take to preserve the courthouse building in Kanturk, County Cork: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the building has been damaged by vandals in recent weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25127/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is 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 to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has advised that Kanturk Courthouse was closed as a court venue in 2010. The building is in the ownership of the Courts Service and, since that time, the Courts Service has offered the courthouse for alternative public use at no cost to Cork County Council and to the Office of Public Works. The Courts Service has further advised that there has been no request for the building to be transferred to another public body to date.
In the event that the building is not required for use by another public body, the Courts Service will consider the sale of the building. In the meantime the building has been made available for use on Culture Nights and for Arts Festivals.
The Courts Service has also informed me that remedial works were undertaken on the building in 2013 and more recently repair works were undertaken following Storm Ophelia. A break-in to the building occurred in early June 2018 and the Courts Service has made arrangements to secure the building.