Birr Courthouse Heading Towards Bad State Of Dereliction

Thursday, 20 April 2017

BIRR Courthouse is heading towards a bad state of dereliction unless action is taken, commented Cllr John Carroll during the April meeting of Birr Municipal District.

The Courthouse is an historic building dating back to the early 19th Century, but the Courts Service stopped using the premises a few years ago which has placed it in an endangered state.

Many local activists under the umbrella of Birr 20/20 are determined to do something about the situation and Birr 20/20 has been in regular contact with the Council about it.

 Cllr Carroll put forward a motion during the April meeting which said 'That this Council take the necessary steps to ensure Birr Courthouse is not allowed to deteriorate to derelict status.'

Cllr Carroll told the meeting that he is concerned about the building's future as the years are passing and still nothing is being done.

He said slates need to be replaced on the roof and birds have a means of accessing the building. The former Council offices in the premises are in a very poor condition but the main courtroom remains in a reasonable state. The tawdry facade and railings are noticed by the many motorists who drive by every day.

 Declan Kirrane, Director of Services, pointed out that under the Planning Act there is an obligation on concerned parties to look after protected structures.

Cllr Carroll said the Courts Service is willing to sell the building to the County Council for a nominal sum of one Euro. However, the Council won't agree to this unless a community group is involved as it doesn't want another derelict building on its hands.

Birr 20/20 has positioned itself as being that group and is currently drawing up a Business Plan for the premises which it will put to the Council within the next couple of months. Birr 20/20 hopes to lease the building from the Council for a nominal sum.


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