Flanagan opens Waterford Courthouse after €26m renovation

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has officially opened the refurbished and extended Waterford Courthouse.

The €26 million renovation project builds on the original courthouse, which dates back to 1849 and was designed by J B Keane.

Mr Flanagan, who attended the opening with the Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, said: “There’s no question but that the new extension to Waterford Courthouse is going to make a huge difference to those who use it. The new block is 6,000 square metres, compared to the old courthouse’s just over 1,000, and there will now be six courtrooms, compared to the previous two.

“So whether a person comes here to work; to seek vindication; to face justice; or as a jury member to pass judgement, everyone will now enter a courthouse which integrates the old and the new, which is open and approachable, and which inspires confidence without being intimidating.”

In 2016, over 7,500 matters were dealt with by the District Court in Waterford across 209 sitting days. Another 634 matters, over 150 days, were disposed of by the Circuit Court in Waterford and Dungarvan.

The new courthouse has a vulnerable witness suite, a victim support room, a legal practitioners’ room, as well as consultation rooms, a jury reception room, enhanced custody facilities and other support facilities.

It is the fifth new or refurbished courthouse to be opened in recent months, following Drogheda, Letterkenny, Wexford and Limerick.

Mr Flanagan added: “I hope later this year, Mr Justice Clarke and I will be presiding over the completion of another two substantial refurbishments and extensions in Cork and Mullingar.”