Leitrim County Council is to meet this week with representatives of the Courts Service to discuss the future of the historic former Ballinamore Courthouse.
The building was originally under the care of Leitrim County Council but was passed over into the guardianship of the Courts Service in 2005.
In 2009 the court was closed and since then it has fallen into a poor state of repair.
Cllr Caillian Ellis has highlighted the continuing deterioration of the building on a number of occasions, most recently urging the Council to seek legal intervention to ensure that the Courts Service upholds its remit to prevent the loss of this listed building.
The Courts Service is currently in consultation with Leitrim County Council regarding works on the Courthouse but no agreement has yet been reached on what works are required and the time frame which would be involved.
Cllr Ellis told the Leitrim Observer that the historic building is now in a very poor state of repair because of structural issues and vandalism.
He had argued previously that the building should be returned to the Council for use as a community building, however he maintains that the building should be returned in the same condition as it was when it was handed over to the Courts Service 10 years ago.
In correspondence to the Council in the past month, a spokesperson for the Courts Service has acknowledged they are “currently struggling to maintain the Courthouses that are in regular use.
“It (the Courts Service) has no further interest in the Courthouse in Ballinamore. It is intended to offer the building to Leitrim County Council without any cost.”
The Courts Service are proposing that the works required to be undertake on the building “be done so on a shared and staged basis with the Council”.
Cllr Ellis said that he hopes some positive outcome emerges from this week’s meeting with the Courts Service.
“Something needs to be done now to stop this building from deteriorating any further. It is a historic building and we need to preserve it,” he said.
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