July 21, 2023
Family District Court locations must be accessible to all – Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice, Pa Daly TD, has today called on the government to confirm it will put accessibility first when deciding the new Family District Court locations.
Teachta Daly said: 
“Family District Courts are to be introduced as part of the Family Courts Bill 2022, which is currently making its way through the Seanad. I understand from members of the legal profession that plans are being prepared regarding the location of these new Family District Courts. They will be critical to ensure that they will function as a court of first instance and address many of the issues we are seeing.
“However, my understanding is the locations for these courts are not being selected with accessibility in mind. Sources inform me that there may not be such a court located in Kerry. If that is the case, a Family District Court located outside the county would see people having to travel to Limerick. 
“This would oblige someone from Cahersiveen to undertake a journey of over 160 km. Given that many people who seek access to justice through the family courts are of limited means, applying for barring orders or access orders, this will seriously undermine accessibility. 
“Consideration needs to be given for peripherality and a lack of transport options, especially in border areas and along the Western seaboard. I will raise this issue with the Minister for Justice urgently.”

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