HC Deb 15 August 1889 vol 339 cc1333-4

I beg to ask the Solicitor General for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the observations of the Hon. Mr. Justice Harrison as to the state of Green Street Courthouse, and to the fact that the learned Judge suffered from blood poisoning after a prolonged Assize there; is it the case that for years complaints have been constant as to the unsuitable and unsanitary condition of this Court; that the strongest feeling prevails as to its inconvenient situation; and, will the Government obtain an estimate of the cost of providing for the erection of a suitable Court near or in the Four Courts?


The facts are correctly stated in the question. I find that the course suggested in the concluding paragraph of the question was taken in 1883 by the Government of the day. The Board of Works estimated the costs of the building, including the purchase of the site, at £40,000. Of this sum the Government agreed to pay £13,500, or a little over one-third. Having obtained Returns of the number of cases entered at Green Street from the city and county respectively, the Government proposed that the remainder of the costs should be borne in the proportion of one-third by the county and two-thirds by the city, and agreed that two-thirds of the amount so contributed should be advanced by the Board of Works by way of loan. The Grand Jury of the county accepted the proposals of the Government, which were also in the first instance acceded to by the Corporation of the city. Subsequently differences arose, into which I cannot enter in detail, the result of which was the proposals were ultimately rejected by the Corporation. A Memorial on the subject has been recently addressed to the Lord Lieutenant by the Incorporated Law Society, and I venture to express a hope that some arrangement may be come to with the Corporation which would enable the Government to carry into effect some such proposal as that which was made in 1883.


As the Corporation of Dublin have to pay the Recorder and other officers who are required to sit in the Court, is not the hon. and learned Gentleman of opinion that they should have some voice in the matter?


That portion of the expenditure which is not borne by the Treasury, is allocated between the city and the county, and it is based on the amount of business contributed by each respectively. I venture to hope that some arrangement may be possible.