'Illogical' to transfer towns' court dates to city
on 23/10/2012 00:00:00
The issue was raised at a meeting in County Hall yesterday by Clonakilty-based Cllr Donal O'Rourke (FF), who described the proposals as "wholly illogical and irrational".
He said it would impact on local businesses and effectively take gardaí away from the towns they were supposed to protect.
Cllr Veronica Neville (FG), a solicitor based in Bandon, said that while the Courts Service might save some money, increased travel expenses would be incurred by gardaí, HSE, and members of the public.
"With the new rosters in place, if four or five gardaí from Skibbereen had to spend the day in court in Cork, there may be no gardaí left in the town," said Cllr Adrian Healy (FG)
His party colleague, Cllr Noel O'Donovan, agreed. He said it did not make any economic sense. Local shops and cafés would lose out and gardaí would be away from their towns, which had security implications.
West Cork has already lost six court venues in the last 10 years: Castletownbere, Schull, Glengarriff, Dunmanway, Millstreet, and Coachford.
Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) said the court sitting in Bandon looked secure at the moment, but wondered if that would also be transferred to the city in the future.
County manager Martin Riordan said he understood a lot of major reorganisation was going on within the public service, but added Co Cork was struggling to keep its towns viable.
"If we want them to continue to operate them we need to have services there," Mr Riordan said.
"We will have to fight to ensure this proposal is not implemented," Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) added.