The district court in Lismore, Co Waterford will no longer sit after more than 200 years of hearing cases.
The courts service has confirmed that they are withdrawing the monthly sitting which will now be held in Dungarvan as an all-day session from next May.
The sitting has been stopped, the court service explained, due to there not being enough cases which justify the assigning of a judge for a full day.
A spokesperson for the Court Service said: ”Over the last few months consultations took place between the Courts Service and Judge Brian O'Shea in relation to the business conducted in Lismore Court. At present Lismore sits only one day per month.
Following these consultations the Judge directed that for now, Lismore District Court would now sit in Dungarvan: from May 3 until further order.”
The spokesperson added that the reasons behind this direction is that there is currently insufficient court business in Lismore. “This allows the court hear a full day’s business in Dungarvan, including and beyond that which would be heard just in Lismore.
“It will also allow the best use of Video Technology in Dungarvan, which is in the next phase of courts to be given a technology upgrade, further adding to the efficiency of the numbers of cases heard.”
However, the loss of this sitting will be felt by Lismore Heritage Centre, to whom the courts service pays around €5,000 a year to rent the space.
Mealla Fahey, the centre manager explained that the court has been sitting there since 2003, since we did up the new courtroom. They put a lot of money into this building.
"They (Court) are our anchor-tenant, as such. We would have other people renting the rooms upstairs, but that will be a big financial loss to us,” said Ms Fahey.
The courthouse was built around 1815, before being refurbished in the 1880s.
A casualty of the War of Independence, that structure was largely destroyed by fire in 1920 and underwent more restoration and refurbishment works into the 1930s.
Local Labour councillor, John Pratt added that the move is disappointing and that the move should be reconsidered.
Cllr Pratt said: ” To me, it's another retrograde step. It's just one of those things that irks me that these things are happening. Why is there no potential for people to engage in the process (and) that it can just be pulled without any thought put into the effects."