Confusion reigned in Ballyhaunis District Court this morning as Judge Mary Devins, numerous solicitors and members of the public turned up for a court sitting only to discover that the court had been effectively closed without notification.
The Courts Service ended months of speculation this morning with an announcement that two East Mayo courts are to close but it appeared that it had neglected to advise the Judge and members of the legal profession. They had turned up for the monthly court sitting in Ballyhaunis at 10.30am this morning but at the time of posting this report proceedings had yet to commence as efforts were made to ascertain the status of the court.
A decision on the future of Ballyhaunis and Swinford District Courts was yesterday postponed until Thursday, July 4 but the Courts Service’s building subcommittee issued a surprise statement to the Western People this morning confirming that its earlier recommendation to close the two courts is now to be implemented. The business of the two court sittings is likely to be moved to Castlebar Court.
Four east Mayo courts have already been closed in recent years including Kilkelly, Foxford, Kiltimagh and Charlestown together with numerous other courts throughout Co Mayo.
The closure of Ballyhaunis and Swinford now leaves just four active District Courts in the county – Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar and Achill.