Councillor calls for Portlaoise court sittings to be moved out of town centre

Portlaoise court sittings should be moved out of the town centre as a matter of priority, a local councillor has said.

Sinn Féin councillor Caroline Dwane-Stanley told local radio station Midlands 103 that court sittings were disrupting business in the town.

Ms Dwane-Stanley said: “That courthouse actually prevents the business in the town from functioning.

“Every week, on a weekly basis, if there’s not an incident outside the courthouse, you have traffic jams with the Garda vans and so on.

“We need to get Laois County Council, along with the OPW and the Justice Department, to prioritise this.

“People are terrified to come into the main street – tourists, particularly the elderly people. That has to come to an end.”

The Courts Service has already identified two possible sites for a new courthouse in Portlaoise, but Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said progress would depend “on the availability of funding”.