The Courts Service of Ireland has met with representatives of the Office and Public Works and an engineer to discuss the future of Ballinamore's historic courthouse.
The venue was closed by the Courts Service in 2009 after it was declared a health and safety hazard and it has deteriorated significantly since then.
While it had been hoped that works could be carried out on the roof to safeguard the property, more extensive works are now required to stop further deterioration of the structure. These works will effectively leave the buildings as a shell with no interior walls or floors.
In a statement update issued to Cllr Caillian Ellis, the Courts Services said it had committed to restoring the roof of this historic structure and subsequently budgeted and approved works in 2016.
However a closer inspection of the property at the time revealed “more immediate and detailed structural work was needed to preserve the masonry and walls of the building, before the roof was worked on.”
“In this regard we are now in communication with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in relation to them designing a scheme of repair of the roof, and a costing for same. We are hopeful this will come to us in the near future,” noted the Courts Service.
In November last year the Courts Service Western Regional Office met with the OPW and a consulting engineer at the Ballinamore Courthouse.
“The outcome of the meeting is that the building needs some remedial attention to the roof and the top of the walls to prevent any further deterioration from water ingress,” continued the update from the Courts Service.
“There will also be work required to the walls inside as part of this maintenance work along with the removal of the floors which are falling apart and constitute major health and safety issues for anyone entering the building. In effect we will be left with a shell of a building with a new roof.”
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer this week, Cllr Caillian Ellis welcomed the news noting: “at least this is starting to move forward now.
“We need to get this building waterproofed and stop further deterioration of the structure, that is very important. It is still a great asset and if we safeguard it now, in the future it can still be used by somebody for a community project or idea.”