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24/07/2009

 

New €4.5m courthouse opens in Thurles

"All involved are to be congratulated and I am delighted the new Thurles Courthouse was nominated and exhibited at the Irish Architecture Awards this year" - The Hon. Mr Justice Matthew Deery, President of the Circuit Court.

The Minister for Justice, Equality, and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern TD, officially opened a new courthouse in Thurles, Co Tipperary today, Friday July 24th 2009

The board of the Courts Service was represented by The Hon. Mr Justice Matthew Deery, President of the Circuit Court - who presided over the event.

Quotes;

President Deery said, "once described as disused, dilapidated, and surrounded by cars - Thurles Courthouse was in need of urgent intervention. That intervention by the Courts Service has resulted in this new fine, restored public building. All involved are to be congratulated and I am delighted that it was nominated and exhibited at the Irish Architecture Awards this year"

Addressing the recent report of the group on pubic spending efficiencies he said, 'the one thing we have undertaken and managed to achieve in these straitened times is that we have not and will not cut back on frontline court room and court user services. Indeed in many ways the new efficiencies have helped us focus our mind on the better delivery of customer service to all user groups

The Improvements & Facilities:  

Given the size of the courthouse and the restricted site area, its rehabilitation and re-use as a modern courthouse was almost unfeasible. Fortunately the Courts Service was in a position to proceed, which ensured the restoration and re-use of this important building - a major civic landmark in the makeup of this important town.

The old courthouse did not have an entrance hall. This was overcome by the use of space from the very long courtroom. This also allowed for the partition from the entrance to be clad with specially designed hardwood acoustic panels, which together with other designs, improve the sound and also match the furniture. All wood was procured from sustainable sources.
 
The arcade to the front was re-opened and fitted with frameless glass. The flanking wings which had been extended forward in 1960's were cut back to re-establish the dominance of the central block. The limestone facade was conserved and repaired.

The slating on the main roof was not replaced. We repaired the torching to the underside of the slates rather than re-slating - thus conserving all the traditional slates.

The extension to the rear is a 2-storey over-basement block linked to the building by way of a double height atrium. It is clad in copper and white stucco.

A new stepped plaza re-integrates the courthouse into the town plan and provides a congregating area. Level access is provided at all entrances.

Among the facilities in this new courthouse are:

Two courtrooms,
Holding facilities,
Legal Practitioners' Room,
Public Consultation Rooms,
Reception and public waiting area,
Accommodation for County Registrar and Court Clerks
Judge's chambers

It was designed using sustainable materials and technologies, creating a healthy and comfortable environment for court users.
 
The Project Team

Those behind this joint project were: The Courts Service who engaged with the main contractor Pierce Healy Developments Ltd, Architects, Deaton Lysaght, and the Office of Public Works.