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Courthouse development up in the air

A request from Kilkee Town Council last April for submissions to revamp Kilkee Courthouse met with what town clerk John Corry described as a “very basic” response and not what could be called a full submission. The future of the courthouse, which stores Kilkee’s town records but is not in use, was addressed at the September meeting of Kilkee Town Council.

This followed Mayor of Kilkee Lily Marrinan-Sullivan’s request that the town council seek a 99-year lease agreement with Clare County Council at a cost of €5 per annum.
In a written reply to Councillor Marrinan-Sullivan’s request, Michael McNamara, Clare County Council, said that while the council invited submissions, none were received.
“This council has no plans for the courthouse at present, nor has a source of funding been identified for remedial works, which would be essential before future use of the building,” he explained.
“In taking over the building, the town council will incur costs for ESB, caretaker’s pay, insurance cover and the upkeep of the building, Any proposal to lease the building will have to be considered by the elected members of this council,” he added.
On hearing that a caretaker is employed to look after the upkeep of a vacant building, Councillor Marrinan-Sullivan expressed surprise.
“Nobody is in it. What could possibly happen? I’m sorry, I just don’t accept the caretaker bit,” she said.
Town manager, Nora Kaye said that a plan was needed, which would include information on sources of funding.
Councillor Marrinan-Sullivan undertook to examine the feasibility of local organisations teaming up to take responsibility for the courthouse, while Councillor Elaine Haugh-Hayes said she would enquire about seeking architectural advice.
Earlier, Councillor Claire Haugh described the town council as similar to a bed and breakfast business, given that the council has to hold their monthly meetings in the local library.
“We in the council are on a B&B basis at the minute,” she commented.
Councillor Paddy Collins suggested asking an employee of Clare County Council to sift through the records, which are stored in the courthouse.
The future of Kilkee Courthouse was also debated at the February and April monthly meetings this year.


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