A Sinn Féin motion was passed at Bray Municipal District Council this week to set up a working group which would take on a leadership role in terms of progressing the transfer of the Old Bray Courthouse into community ownership and maintaining the positive momentum that has been generated so far. The council have also been asked to commence the process with the Courts Service of having the vacant property transferred.
Speaking after receiving an update from the Minister for Justice on the transferring of the old Bray Courthouse to Wicklow County Council Deputy Brady said “Since getting the positive news last October that the Courts Service had deemed the old Bray Court House as surplus to requirements and were willing to transfer it to Wicklow County Council, we have been inundated with expressions of interest from community groups looking to use the old court house. Last year Sinn Fein launched a campaign to get the building which has been vacant since 2006 handed over for community use.”
“I have received an update from the Minister for Justice stating that to date no engagement has been undertaken between the Courts Service and Wicklow County Council and that the next step is for the local authority and the Court Service to engage directly with each other to start the transfer process. I am aware of the considerable background work that the council have done on the old courthouse and the next step must now be for both parties to engage directly with each other about transferring the building which has considerable potential for the community.
Cllr Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien commented, “There is a lot of parallel work that could be going on while the structural and logistical work is happening between the County Council and Courts Service. A working group could begin the process of exploring options in terms of funding applications and also host community consultations and build a vision for this space. We must not underestimate what is required to realise the ambition of this project but a concerted commitment from elected representatives, officials and community stakeholders will absolutely enhance the potential for the success of this project.”
Cllr O’Brien continued “A structural survey has been undertaken and a cost analysis is being undertaken by Wicklow County Council.
Cllr McManus said “There’s already lots of ideas and enthusiasm about how to utilise the Courthouse space, and I can only imagine the positive potential if those ideas, energy and good will is harnessed and given structure. This working group is the mechanism to do just that, and it’s really exciting to see another step forward taken on this project. I’m really looking forward to supporting this work.”