Politicians united in opposition to courthouse moves

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The campaign to save the courthouse has won unanimous support from politicians from all parties, who are in agreement that the service should be retained in the Roe Valley town.

Limavady Mayor Sean McGlinchey has voiced his total opposition to closure of the courthouse and believes the Government should look at using other local government buildings for court sittings, such as the local Council chamber.

“It’s sitting there empty for most of the week and it’s right beside the police station. It wouldn’t take much to have security there, but I would hope the right decision is made and the courthouse stays open. Closing it will cause serious inconvenience to all who use it.”

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal O’hOisin asked about the possibility of using other government buildings in the area and feels the decision to close the building has already been made.

SDLP Colr Gerry Mullan said it would create inconvenience for users requiring child care and said it would be the community that would end up paying the price.

SDLP Colr Orla Beattie said she was completely against closure, as was every local councillor.

“When you listen to all the objections and reasons why we need the courthouse in Limavady, it is very hard to fathom why they would close it. The depth of feeling is so strong and any benefit there may be in closure is far outweighed by the benefits in keeping it open.”

DUP MLA George Robinson said it would be further “erosion of another service from our wee town” and it would be totally unfair to the people of the borough. “It’s purely a penny pinching exercise,” he said, saying his party had made their own response to the consultation.

DUP Colr James McCorkell asked if any thought had been given to using the building for other purposes and attract other jobs.

Independent MLA David McClarty said the Department of Justice was not looking at the whole picture and there would be no savings at all, and the taxpayers would end up footing the bill.

On Tuesday, Limavady Council gave its full support to the campaign to save the courthouse, and heard from Limavady Solicitors’ Association Secretary Peter Jack and Chamber of Trade President, Philip Kingston.