Conditions at Letterkenny Circuit Court ‘laughable’

A judge has described the conditions at a court as “laughable” after prisoners were held all day in a prison van because there was no room for them in the courthouse.

Judge John O’Hagan said the physical conditions at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Donegal were simply not good enough.

The judge said the legal profession, Gardai, court staff and prison officers deserve a well-deserved ‘pat on the back’ for working under such conditions.

Judge O’Hagan slammed the conditions at the busy court which has just one small holding cell for prisoners being brought from jail to stand trial.

“It is laughable. The physical conditions in this court are just not good enough in my opinion.

He said we only have one holding cell and sometimes that cannot be used because court staff have no choice but to store stuff there.

Yesterday’s first day’s sitting of the circuit court, which is expected to last three weeks, was described as in chaos.

Dozens of witnesses, defendants and jurors spilled out of the courthouse onto the street because there was simply not enough room.

Judge O’Hagan said the legal profession deserved to be treated better and commended all involved for getting through case after case each day.

He added that he had raised the matter with the ‘higher authorities’ but said he was still waiting to hear a response.