Plans to close four District Courts are rejected by councils
THE three Dublin local areas affected by a proposal to close four District Courts have all declared opposition to the plan.
Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Councils have all passed motions against the proposed closure of the District Courts in Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire, Balbriggan and Swords.
The council opposition to the plan has arisen after the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, which has 3,000 members, argued that the closures would not save money for the State.
The association claimed there would be "substantially" fewer gardai available for normal policing duties in the affected suburbs.
This was because they would have to spend extra time at Blanchardstown and at the Criminal Courts of Justice, where District Court sittings will continue.
Councillor Barry Ward, from Dun Laoghaire, agreed with the association and told the Herald that opposition to the plan went across party lines in the council.
"This is an absolutely terr-ible idea. It's bad for the local gardai, who will have to travel into town for four or five hours," said Mr Ward, who proposed the motion in his area.
"That's at a time when garda overtime has been cut and it's time when they should be on the beat."
Fianna Fail's Darragh Butler brought a similar motion to Fingal County Council where it was passed last night.
"This is about the survival of local towns and the local area in general," he said.
In South Dublin, Fianna Fail's Charlie O'Connor called on the Government to drop proposals to close Tallaght court.
His motion on the matter was passed without debate.
The board of the Courts Service of Ireland is continuing to consider the plan.
The Courts Service has said that the proposals will result in improved services in courtrooms equipped with facilities and support services that could not be provided in suburban courthouses.