Motion passed for Council to initiate legal proceedings against Courts Service over railings

'Abject failure' to maintain and restore the Courthouse railings in Carlow Town

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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news@carlowlive.ie

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The Carlow Courthouse railings

A motion has been passed for Carlow County Council to initiate legal proceedings against the Courts Service over their "abject failure" to maintain and restore the Courthouse railings in Carlow Town. 

Cllr Fergal Browne tabled the motion at Monday's full meeting of the Council. 

It stated: "That Carlow County Council initiate legal proceedings against the Courts Service for their abject failure to maintain and restore the Courthouse railings." 

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Browne said: "It doesn't mean we rush to court on it," but he added that it might help the Council executives when they are in discussions with the Courts Service or the Office of Public Works. 

"It's embarrassing. It's total neglect. I have emails from 2014, 2015, 2016. They have missed every other deadline," he said. 

Chief executive of Carlow County Council, Kathleen Holohan, said she did have a meeting with the Courts Service and she advised members that they are dependent on the OPW to progress the works. 

She said that they anticipate going to tender before Christmas and starting works in Quarter 1 of next year. 

Cllr Fintan Phelan also said that he "had to support this motion". 

"If this was a private individual, the Council would be issuing enforcement notices," he added. 

The motion - which was seconded by Cllr Tom O'Neill - was passed by a show of hands from members. 

Cllr Browne has previously labelled the railings "a complete embarrassment" after they were mentioned in Carlow's Tidy Towns report.

The Courts Service and the Office of Public Works are obliged to restore the unique 190-year-old railings at Carlow Courthouse and say they are committed to doing it but there have been criticisms over a delay in carrying out the works. 

Speaking at the October full meeting of the Council, Cllr Browne said: "They are a complete embarrassment and are a danger. The Tidy Towns commented on them."

The inspector's report for Carlow in this year's Tidy Towns said: "It looks like there is some work going on at the Courthouse – hopefully the railings will be refreshed in the process as they are quite rusted – is there scope for a biodiversity project on the grounds there?"