New Minister of State for Law Reform has been urged to ensure the refurbishment and return of Carndonagh District Court.
The plea was made in a letter to the new Minister by Inishowen county councillor Albert Doherty.
Councillor Doherty wrote “As you are aware, you have raised the matter in the Dail previously, as have other Oireachtas colleagues, Carndonagh and North Inishowen communities await the refurbishment and return of Court Services to Carndonagh Courthouse.
“In February, 2019 the courts service indicated that court services previously held in Carndonagh would now occur in Buncrana. (A temporary arrangement).
“Fifteen Months later, We know, 1) That the survey of Carndonagh Courthouse is complete and that the Courts Service has received the report.
We know, 2) The courthouse is in poor condition overall and that significant expenditure is required for refurbishment and proper maintenance of the building, 3)The Courts Service is currently examining the report(received prior to Mar 6th) and determining how best to proceed.
“It is imperative that the Courts Service, the OPW and the new government ensure the urgent restoration of services to Carndonagh and North Inishowen.”
The 1960s Garda station in Carndonagh has been deemed “Not fit for purpose”by the garda authorities.
Health and Safety and security issues have also been confirmed by Chief Superintendent Terry Mc.Ginn.
Councillor Doherty revealed that in recent weeks and days he has written to the Chief Superintendendent and to new Minister Mc Entee urging and seeking an update on the situation.
The Sinn Fein county councillor said what is needed is a new modern Garda station for Carndonagh.
He added that a constant Garda location and presence in Carndonagh to serve the Carndonagh environs and North Inishowen is vital.
He said that leaving the business, banking, educational and community facilities without a garda station or a garda presence is NOT an option.
“These issues merit an urgent,ambitious and positive response from the new government and related ministers and departments. Any derogation from delivery of the Garda station or restoration of the courthouse services to Carndonagh is an abandonment of towns and rural communities,” he said.