As news spread today that the Central Criminal Court will be hearing cases in Castlebar from October, concerns have been expressed about Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court being moved to Galway Courthouse.
At the penultimate hearing day of the Circuit Court in Castlebar before the August break, Judge Rory MacCabe, who presides over the criminal, civil and family law cases in the county, noted four weeks of the Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court had been listed from October 5 next.
“However, the Central Criminal Court will be coming to Castlebar for the entirety of next term. Therefore, we may not be able to hold a full hearing week over the second week in October. As a result of this, it is proposed to hold the final two of the four week Mayo sittings in Galway.”
State Solicitor, Vincent Deane stated cases for trial could be mentioned over the week of October 5 for transfer to Galway.
Barrister Diarmuid Connolly expressed dismay stating the Bar Association in Mayo had not been consulted on the decision to move Mayo trials to Galway. “This is a huge inconvenience to us, the solicitors and our clients.”
His sentiments were echoed by solicitor, Tom Walsh, who said it would be difficult for practitioners and accused persons to have to travel to Galway for cases and trials.
Judge MacCabe stated their ‘frustrations are noted and are not just restricted to members of your profession’.
Mr Deane suggested the solicitors and barristers meet to discuss the issue and refer back to the court tomorrow (Thursday).
Judge MacCabe stated the alternatives, at present, are limited. “I am open to suggestions to allow trials to go ahead. The alternative would mean postponing all Mayo trials until next year and I find that unpalatable.”