490. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Justice the position in relation to the delays in the issuing of probate from the Probate Office. [27676/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in its functions. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had inquiries made and the Courts Service has provided the following update on the Dublin Probate Office.
The Courts Service advises that the reintroduction of restrictions on travel earlier this year necessitated the temporary closure of the personal applications process in the Dublin Probate Office. Interviews for personal applications resumed earlier this month with additional resources being allocated to facilitate these interviews. I am further advised that the staff of the Probate Office are committed to clearing the backlogs that had developed while personal applicant interviews were not possible and are working hard to achieve this. As the Deputy will appreciate, all such personal application interviews are conducted in line with current Public Health Guidelines, which must be factored into the scheduling of interview appointments.
The waiting time for solicitor applications at present in the Probate Office, Dublin is six weeks assuming that the papers received are correct. Resubmitted applications where queries were raised when the papers were first lodged are taking six weeks from the date they are resubmitted. Question No. 491 answered with Question No. 476.