25 June 2018
Temporary Closure of Londonderry Court House
The Law Society of Northern Ireland together with members of the local association of Derry solicitors held an emergency meeting today with the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service in relation to the temporary closure of Londonderry Courthouse. Alan Hunter, the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland said:
“The closure (albeit temporary) of Londonderry Courthouse, presents real and immediate issues for the citizens of Derry who require to attend Londonderry Court.
Single parents with young children, adults with responsibility for caring for elderly or less able relatives, victims of crime and other witnesses are being required to travel over 30 miles to Omagh or Coleraine.
This often requires public transport which can take an hour each way (plus waiting time) and sometimes together with other parties to the case on the same public transport. Local solicitors are greatly concerned about the implications for the lives of their clients and court users many of whom are vulnerable and facing points of crises in their lives.
The Law Society and the local association of solicitors in Derry do not believe that it is workable to transfer business from Londonderry Courthouse to Omagh or Coleraine and have suggested that other options should be considered in the city such as libraries, council premises, schools or university premises.
This situation highlights the need for a fully functioning and accessible Court estate that works for all members of the community.”