Movement and Vision needed for Westport Court House

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers has called for action on the future development of Westport Court House

“The courts service, the Local Authority and the Government must come together to find a way forward for Westport Court house. This is an iconic building in Westport town that has been lying idle and empty since the court closed in 2013 and the longer it is left in this condition the more it will fall into dereliction. The court closed at the time because the building could not meet health and safety standards and that major works were required on the roof, ceiling and chimneys which required substantial investment.” says Chambers

“Minister Ring gave a commitment that something would be done with the court house building over a year ago and nothing has happened to date. It was a huge loss to the local economy of Westport to loose the court services but this is further compounded by the fact the building has been left empty and is falling into disrepair. It is a beautiful building and should be used for public amenities, it is a place that should be open to the public in some form.” she continued

“I have contacted the court services and the Minister for Justice to confirm that it will not reopen as a court house and while the answer was not absolute it did indicate there were no plans immediately to reopen the building as a court house and this would seem unlikely to happen in the near future. I asked also what the future plans for the building were and it was confirmed to me that Mayo County Council have approached the Courts Service with a view to taking over the building. This would be a fantastic outcome if the Local Authority were in a position acquire the building and in turn open it up to the public in some form but if this happened we would need to see financial support to the Local Authority to assist in the costly repair works to the roof, ceiling and chimneys.”

“It is one of the first buildings tourists see when they arrive into Westport, it is a shame it has been left empty for the last four years and it is time now to revitalise and open it up to the public once again.” Says Chambers