DUP Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea attended yesterday’s public meeting yesterday to reiterate his disappointment that Magherafelt Courthouse is under consultation for closure and to raise what the closure would mean for local people.
Mr McCrea said he expressed on behalf of his constituents, his opposition to the proposal to close the Courthouse and transfer business to Dungannon.
He went on: “In responding to the Chief Executive of the Court Service, I raised the fact that closing Magherafelt Courthouse would only save around £60,000 a year in running costs which would hardly bring the court service to its knees.
“I also made it clear that should services move to Dungannon, there will be major transport difficulties for people getting to Dungannon Court, given that Mid Ulster is two thirds rural and has limited public transport services.
“I have always been a firm believer in what we have we hold, however if this closure goes ahead, have they considered using the Courthouse in Magherafelt to provide services such as court administration or for people to pay fines etc.
“It is important that people get involved with the consultation process by make their voices heard, especially about all the difficulties that they will face in getting to Dungannon.
The consultation document can be found at the following link https://www.courtsni.gov.uk/enGB/Publications/Public_Consultation/Pages/default.aspx under the title ‘Consultation on proposals for the rationalisation of the court estate’ and will close on 30 April 2015.”
Councillor Anne Forde who also attended the meeting added: “As a Councillor, I represent a more rural area and I felt it important to raise the difficulties that my constituents will face when trying to access public transport should the Magherafelt Court House close and move to Dungannon.
“The DUP has always been committed to speaking out on behalf of our people and Ian McCrea and myself did just that on Wednesday in opposition to the proposal to move court services to Dungannon.”