Court relocation to Galway will be challenged by Mayo legal profession

THE decision to relocate the Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court to Galway has come in for strong criticism from the legal profession in Mayo.

The Mayo Solicitors Bar Association are particularly incensed that there was no consultation with them over the decision to move the autumn sittings to facilitate the Central Criminal Court sitting in Castlebar.

The move could last up to five months.

However, in a statement read to today's sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court on behalf of his colleagues, barrister Diarmuid Connolly said the decision needs to be revisited given the serious impact it will have on all involved in court proceedings.

“There is a certain irony that 100 yards from this building is the place where the Land League was founded (the Imperial Hotel). It would appear that the citizens of Mayo are being evicted from their own courthouse.

“The decision has to be reversed, or at least revisited to assess the alternative venues in Mayo,” he said.

Mr. Connolly said he and his colleagues were utterly dismayed at the Court Services' decision to effectively suspend the administration of justice in Co. Mayo.

The decision, if allowed to go ahead, would impact on everyone and would seriously effect the District Court system which was being held in the main Circuit Court room in order to maintain strict guidelines in relation to social distancing.

Judge Rory MacCabe said he fully shared the dismay expressed by the legal profession in Mayo and said it was very clear that there was 'an absence of consultation'.

“I have sought clarification in relation to family law in particular being held in this court but I will be passing on your views to the president of the Circuit Court,” said Judge MacCabe.

Mr. Gary Mulchrone, on behalf of the solicitors of Mayo, described it as a 'calamitous decision' which would seriously disrupt the District Court in particular as it could only accommodate a maximum of 10 people at any one time to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

“It is most unacceptable to the Mayo solicitors and their clients along with court service users to be treated as second class citizens and it will not be accepted,” he said.

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