29 Sept 2022

Carlow Courthouse railings an 'embarrassment' as motion for legal action is deferred

Tendering process for works now at 'an advanced stage'

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Carlow Courthouse

A motion for Carlow County Council to take legal action over state of Courthouse railings has been deferred. 

Cllr Fergal Browne's motion stated: "That Carlow County Council initiate legal proceedings against the Court Services for their abject failure to maintain and restore the Courthouse railings at Carlow Courthouse."

At a full meeting of the Council on Monday he said the attitude of the Courts Service has been "appalling" and the condition of the protected structure is an "embarrassment". 

Cllr Browne said the Courts Service had not met their timelines and, "we need to bring them to court for failing to protect it," he added. 

Chief executive of the Council, Kathleen Holohan, said the Courts Service are obliged to use the Office of Public Works and a "resourcing issue" in the OPW is affecting the works. 

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 which Ms Holohan said is now at "an advanced stage".

She said the railings are very unique and it was not a case of just painting them but that they will have to be taken out, a methodology drawn up for repairing them and then painted. 

Ms Holohan told Cllr Browne that she could arrange a meeting on the issue with the relevant parties to try and expedite the works if the motion could be deferred until December. 

Cllr Michael Doran proposed that the motion be deferred with the aim to have a face to face with the OPW and the Courts Service before the December meeting of the Council - a meeting which Cllr Browne will attend. 

The proposal was seconded by Cllr Ken Murnane and passed by a show of hands. 

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