The restoration of Carlow Courthouse's railings 'will take a number of years', Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has warned.
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.
Minister Flanagan said recently that the Courts Service had informed him that they are aware that the railings surrounding Carlow Courthouse are in "poor condition and are committed to their full restoration at the earliest possible date".
He added: "Restoring the railings is a significant and complex task requiring specialist conservation and iron-working expertise.
"The Courts Service does not have this expertise itself and is reliant on OPW resources to undertake and manage the task on its behalf.
"The restoration work will be undertaken in phases. The first phase of the restoration will see 10 sections repaired and will be subject to a competitive OPW tendering process.
"A great deal of background work has been undertaken by the OPW to date including technical appraisals, experimental repairs, exploratory works and specification of repair methodologies.
"The OPW is at present finalizing the tender documentation for the restoration of the initial 10 sections. Subject to a satisfactory tender process it is anticipated that work will commence during the Autumn.
"The cost of restoring the initial 10 sections will be determined by the tendering process however the Courts Service has approved funding to cover this anticipated cost.
"The first phase will inform how future phases of the project can be undertaken and will give an indication of the likely cost of restoring all sections of railings. It is anticipated that restoring all sections will take a number of years."