Closure of courthouse is a step closer

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

The campaign to save Ballymena Courthouse has been dealt a severe blow with its recommended closure put to the Justice Committee.

Its closure was among a series of recommendations to rationalise the court estate in Northern Ireland.

It was recommended that - “Ballymena should close” and that following a review of court business levels “that with some modest adjustment to the court calendar all business can be transferred to Antrim rather than being split between Antrim and Coleraine”.

The move comes after Larne courthouse was shut due to financial constraints back in 2013, with all local court business being transferred to Ballymena.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has agreed to write to the Justice Minister, the Justice Committee and senior Court Service officials to express its “absolute disappointment” that the courthouse still faces the axe.

Speaking at Monday’s full council meeting, Councillor Paul Reid said he was “deeply saddened but not surprised” by the recommendation.

“There is absolutely no public transport suitable in County Antrim to take the people of Larne to any courthouse whether it be Antrim or Coleraine,” he said.