Facilities at a courtroom in Letterkenny Courthouse were described as an “insult” to the Coroner’s Court and to the bereaved families by County Coroner, John Cannon, following two inquests heard in the building on Friday.
Voicing criticism as to why the inquests could not have been conducted in a courtroom with the proper facilities - the second such room was being used for a taxation hearing - Mr. Cannon said he would be seeking an “urgent meeting” with the County Registrar to make his feelings known on the matter.
Claiming that the coroner’s court seemed to be pushed aside at times, the Coroner said they had been faced with situations where inquests had been held in hotels.
“It’s an insult to the Coroner’s court and the bereaved families,” an angry Mr. Cannon insisted.
“We need an explanation from the County Registrar. I’m not going to tolerate it,” said the Coroner who said some of the Gardai had been forced to work on the steps of the courthouse.
“It’s just not good enough,” Mr. Cannon declared.
Local solicitor, Mr. Seamus Gunn, who was representing one of the bereaved families at Friday’s inquest, said that apart from a few difficulties with the microphones at the outset, he and the bereaved had no complaints to make about the facilities.
“I was perfectly happy with the facilities. We didn’t have the jury room which is attached to the second courtrooms but the jury was still able to avail of a room. There are two courtrooms in the building and we did have access to one of them,” the solicitor indicated yesterday.
“Most importantly, however, the bereaved family I was representing had more serious matters on their mind rather than being concerned with the facilities”, added Mr. Gunn.