Limavady courthouse to close, Strabane to stay

Limavady Courthouse. (1002PG72)
Limavady Courthouse. (1002PG72)

Limavady courthouse is to close while Strabane’s facility will be saved, at least in the short term, it’s been confirmed.

The announcement that the facility in Limavady - which has had a courthouse for almost 400 years - is to be axed was greeted with anger and sadness in the town yesterday. Limavady and Strabane were among five centres being considered for closure by the Department of Justice. It’s expected that the business of Limavady courthouse will be transferred to Coleraine courthouse in 2014.

Secretary of Limavady Solicitors’ Association, Peter Jack, blamed anonymous “bean counters” for the decision, adding: “This is sad day for justice in Limavady”. “This is a sad day for all users of Limavady courthouse including the police, who will now have to waste money going to Coleraine and people of low economic means who can’t afford the bus fare.

Announcing the closure, Justice Minister David Ford said Limavady was one of four hearing centres to be axed as it was “among the smallest and least well equipped venues within the court estate”.

There was uneasy relief in Strabane at the decision to keep the courthouse there open for the time being.

Justice Minister David Ford said: “Strabane’s longer term future will be considered as part of a Departmental Estate Strategy.”