Councillors in Kerry voted last night (19 September) in favour of selling a site to the Courts Service, which has promised an investment of €22 million in a new courts complex in Tralee.
The council meeting heard debate about the site of the new complex on a green-field site of 0.202 hectares at the Island of Geese, a former bacon factory, given to the town by Kerry Group.
The motion was proposed by Fine Gael councillor Jim Finucane, and seconded by Fianna Fáil councillor Mikey Sheehy.
The existing courthouse building, dating from the 1830s, is no longer fit for purpose, the council meeting heard, and Office of Public Works engineers have said that it was not possible to create a modern court service there.
Chief Executive of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell said that the Courts Service had been seeking a site in Tralee for a courts complex for "many, many years without success".
The Courts Service Chief Executive Angela Denning has set out the goal of putting Tralee on the next programme of construction.
The National Valuation Office had set the value of the new site at €160,000, Murrell added.
Kerry Law Society appealed to councillors to back the sale.
Members of the Kerry Bar, as well as the Kerry Law Society, including the State Solicitor for Kerry Diane Reidy, were present for the vote.