256. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 204 of 8 May 2018, when the promised review of the future delivery of court services in the District Court area of Kilcock is likely to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27868/18]
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 it is still currently concentrating on the development or refurbishment of courthouses at a number of provincial city/county town venues. As part of a major Public Private Partnership initiative, new courthouses have been delivered at Drogheda, Letterkenny, Wexford, Limerick, Waterford and Cork since June 2017 with a further courthouse in Mullingar to be delivered in the coming months.
The Courts Service has further advised that on completion of this major programme of work there are 5 provincial city/county town venues still in need of major investment in court facilities, these being Tralee, Galway, Wicklow, Portlaoise and Roscommon. The Courts Service has confirmed that collectively these cities and towns will be the next priority for investment in courthouse facilities outside of the capital under the Courts Service provincial capital building programme. The Courts Service is also considering the development of Courts facilities in other smaller locations.
As the Deputy is aware, Kilcock Courthouse was closed in July 2016 on health and safety grounds and District Court sittings were transferred to Naas. The Courts Service has informed me that it plans to review the future delivery of court services in the District Court area of Kilcock in the near future and that this will include a local consultation process but no date has yet been fixed for the commencement of this review.