A top solicitor has branded a proposal from the Courts Service to move all Sligo Circuit Court jury trials to Letterkenny as “outrageous”.

And Mr Tom MacSharry said the proposal will be fought “tooth and nail” by all the court users.

“There was no consultation either”, he said.

He added that this was the latest in a series of major blows to Sligo as it has already lost its Garda Divisional Headquarters to the Donegal town.

And a promised new garda station appears to be in limbo.

Mr MacSharry was reacting to the shock news that could mean a three-hour round trip for practitioners, gardai, witnesses and the judiciary.

It is around 100 miles from Letterkenny to Sligo.

Tom McSharry is fuming at plans to move Sligo trials to Letterkenny courthouse.

“This is outrageous.

“And there was no consultation with anybody in Sligo which is just unbelievable.

“This is just so wrong on so many levels and everyone is just stunned”.

He added “This is a disaster from a security point of view for a start.
“If you have a number of gardai on standby for a case all they have to do is walk across the street to the court.

“And they can respond to any emergency quickly, but that will not be the case if they are around 100 miles away.

“It is very unfair on witnesses as well and are already very nervous about going into court.

“But then you have to ask them to go away up to Letterkenny and they don’t even know when their cases are going to get on so they could be travelling for a couple of days or have to hang around all day and then face a long journey home.

“From a practical point of view, it is just completely unworkable and the fact that there was no consultation with anyone adds insult to injury”.

“This will be fought to the bitter end by everybody, from the officers of the court, An Garda Siochana and all of the service users.

“People have a right to a fair trial by their peers, in their own area.

He continued “This is yet another slap in the teeth for Sligo.

“First of all we have lost the Divisional Headquarters of the gardai to Letterkenny and now we are being told that we won’t have a new garda station as was promised by successive governments.

“If this happens will it be a permanent fixture.

“We will fight against this in the strongest possible terms.

“We are totally united in this and everybody is steadfast against it.”


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