The Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Dermot Ahern TD formally opened the newly restored Thurles courthouse yesterday.
The once dilapidated and disused building has now been completely renovated at a cost of approximately €4.5m.
Before the official opening the building was blessed by His Grace Dr Dermot Clifford Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel and Emly assisted by Church of Ireland Rector Rev Peter Massey Cole-Baker Templemore Union of Churches and Rev Father Martin Hayes CC, Thurles.
The building was nominated at the Irish Architecture Awards this year, and is regarded as a major civic and historical landmark in the centre of Thurles. Erected in 1828, the courthouse itself has played host to many historic events, the public meeting regarding Famine Public Works schemes in April 1846, the famous GAA Convention of November 9th 1887, the inaugural meeting of Thurles Golf Club on January 21st 1909.
The restored building now includes two new modern courtrooms, a reception and public waiting area, holding facilities, legal practitioners and consultation rooms and accommodation for the County Registrar and Court Clerks.
Speaking at the event the Hon. Mr Justice Matthew Deery, President of the Circuit Court stated,
“Once described as disused, dilapidated, and surrounded by cars, the Thurles Courthouse was in need of urgent intervention. That intervention by the Courts Service has resulted in this new fine, restored public building. All involved are to be congratulated and I am delighted the new Thurles Courthouse was nominated and exhibited at the Irish Architecture Awards this year”.
The project teams behind this joint restoration were, The Courts Service, who engaged with the main contractor Pierce Healy Developments Ltd, Architects, Deaton Lysaght, and the Office of Public Works.
As part of an ongoing programme of investment in modernising courts throughout the country, which started 10 years ago, 50 courthouses have now been completely refurbished or constructed marking an investment of €200m during this same period.