Speaking this week, Deputy Daly confirmed that he had lobbied his party colleague and chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice David Stanton TD to invite the Irish Courts Service to appear before the committee to answer questions relating to their intention to close the Courthouse in Skibbereen.
Jim Daly says he does not believe that the proposed savings reported to be in the region of €12,000 per year associated with the closing of the Courthouse will materialise as such a move will inevitably lead to increased costs for Solicitors acting for clients on Free Legal Aid and for costs involved in requiring Gardaí to attend sittings of courts in other towns across West Cork.
“I am not at all convinced that there are any savings to be achieved by closing Skibbereen Courthouse when the additional costs to the state for Solicitors and Gardaí to travel longer distances for Court cases are factored in to the equation. There is also the social cost to Skibbereen town resulting from such a short sighted move. Gardaí from Skibbereen will now have to appear in court in other towns which will leave the town of Skibbereen with reduced Garda resources for extended periods of time. The savings of €1,000 per month disappear very quickly. It might save the Courts Service some money in the short term but ultimately society and the Tax payer will end up sharing an increased cost as a result of such an ill advised move” according to Jim Daly.
The West Cork TD went on to say he has expressed his views on the matter to the Minister for Justice and the Irish Courts Service and hoped that as the economy begins to recover, a broader view of such matters would be taken by the relevant decision makers.