The confirmation this week that Donegal County Council will retain the Court House in Letterkenny can not be over-emphasised in terms of what it means to Letterkenny and the county overall, according to Donegal County Councillor, Ciaran Brogan.
''This is something that I have been pursuing for the last few years – as I see it, it’s a statement of intent from the County Council,'' Cllr Brogan said in a statement.
''I have been keeping a close watch on developments and my question at Monday’s Council meeting to the Director of Services, Joe Peoples, has brought the response we have all been hoping for and anticipating. He told me that the Court House is a significant building located in the centre of the town and could be used for a variety of different purposes with scope for combining different activities.
I agree fully with his view that determining what services would be available within the building will require careful advanced planning to ensure that it used to the maximum potential and benefit for the county as a whole. The Council will now examine those options and bring forward proposals for consideration by the members.''
Cllr Brogan continued: ''This is indeed welcome news but it’s not a decision that has come about overnight. From a personal viewpoint, I have, as I have said, been continually following up on this, knowing the significance of this historic landmark building. I see its retention by the County Council as a potential benefit for cultural and tourism services long into the future. Community organisations such as the Tidy Towns Committee in Letterkenny could avail of it while there are no end of possibilities in respect of cultural activities. Perhaps, it could even house a museum of some description to run in tandem with Donegal County Museum.''
He added: ''We also have a building that could facilitate a tourism information outlet while retaining the existing one. The decision by the Council to retain the court house means also that the Local Authority has a base in the centre of the town again.
“That’s not something we’ve had since the existence of the former offices at Covehill and this is another welcome aspect of this week’s confirmation.
"Essentially we can now move on and ensure that this landmark building will be used for the good of all and won’t be allowed to run into decay and decline once the court services are relocated to the new facility currently under construction.''