THE urgent need for a second District Court judge in Co Kildare – District No. 25 – was highlighted once more at a recent sitting of Naas District Court.
Last Thursday 18 November saw a daily court list exceeding 200, a figure that is by no means rare in these parts. A swathe of cases had to be block adjourned as they weren’t reached; that, it’s important to note, is through no fault of the court staff, gardaí, the legal profession or the judge but simply down to a lack of time (and the sheer volume of cases the district faces).
During the sitting, Judge Desmond Zaidan spoke of the help that he needs. “This district needs a second judge,” he stated at one point. “There are issues with the lack of judges.”
There’s no doubt that District 25 is one of the busiest in the country and yet has just one District Court judge covering a county with a population of around 222,000 (per Census 2016), a judge that sits in both Naas and Athy and could fairly be described as doing the work of three.
Recently, Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless received confirmation that the courthouse on Main Street in Naas is to remain the key courthouse of the county and will be upgraded and expanded on its original site.
At the time, he said: This is very positive news that the Naas Courthouse will be expanded and upgraded and will remain in the current courthouse building on the Main Street here in Naas. I was glad to hear that both the Courts Services and Kildare Co Council agreed that the court should remain in this historic building and that the courthouse will be extended and refurbished to provide additional court services in what is one of the busiest districts in the country.
“I have made representations to the Department of Justice regarding that the court services in Kildare North which are currently operating at capacity. They are under severe pressure due to the volume of work they are expected to complete and the continuous growth in the area that this court has to cover here in Kildare.”