Normal business to resume at city court

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

Normal business is due to resume at Bishop Street Courthouse in the first week of September.

The city’s courthouse was temporarily closed for essential maintenance to be carried out on the ventilation and air handling system in the 200 year old building.

All Family and Youth business was moved to Coleraine Courthouse and all other business to Omagh Courthouse during the eight week closure.

Public counter services were maintained at Bishop Street while the construction work was carried out.

The Court Service said at the time that the closure was planned during the summer recess to minimise the disruption to court users.

Concerns were raised prior to the closure about the impact it could have on victims, witnesses, defendants and practitioners facing a 110 mile round trip for court hearings.

There were also concerns raised by the local Bar Association about the lack of consultation and failure to consider other venues.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) confirmed that the completion of the ongoing work in Bishop Street Courthouse is on target with normal business due to resume on Monday, September 3.

Solicitor Ciaran Hampson, secretary of the local Bar Association said: “We welcome the news that the work appears to have been completed on time in order to faciliate all court users.”

However, he said the temporary closure of the city’s courthouse proved to be challenging.

“The eight week closure has given rise to certain difficulties during that period, but the assistance of judges and court staff has mitigated it to a degree.”