Green Party TD Steven Matthews has welcomed a significant step in the prospect of repurposing the courthouse, a heritage structure in Wicklow Town centre.
Deputy Matthews said, “I have been working constantly over the last three years with the Office of Public Works and the Courts Service to provide me with a construction and engineering appraisal of the old Wicklow Town Courthouse building. Whenever I asked about the old building, I was told it was derelict, dangerous and unusable but I couldn’t find any evidence of reports on the building condition. I was determined to get a structural report, that would provide an idea of what works are required to bring some life and living back to this important building. I am delighted that I have gotten this agreement, and in my view, it is the most important first step towards repurposing the site.
Deputy Matthews has received a commitment from both the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Courts Service that a structural and internal review will be carried out shortly and some immediate roof repairs, as part of a wider assessment of the whole campus.
“My initial proposal was to provide the Wicklow Towns Mens Shed with a new place to meet in the building to the rear and I hope this remains an option. When the necessary repairs, safety assessments and structural reports are carried out, there is potential for further societal and economic benefit to Wicklow Town from the repurposing of the structure.
‘It is an absolute shame that such a beautiful heritage building has been left vacant, neglected and rotting, severely detracting from the new Market Square. As with any large building refurbishment the important first step is to estimate the extent of works required to make it reusable. I was successful in having some superficial work carried out last year with painting and a general clean up to the front façade, however his latest progress is a step towards a far more substantial outcome for the site.
“Following the outcome of the engineering and structural assessment, I look forward to continuing recent talks with Wicklow County Council and the Town Team for ideas for the old building and to broadening the discussion with local councillors and other interested parties. The building has great potential, and from my work with the OPW and Courts Service, we will now have an idea of what work is needed before we progress ideas for revitalising this important corner of Market Square,“ concluded Deputy Matthews.