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Croke Park to host criminal trials during first three months of 2021

Trials will be held in conference facilities at the GAA venue from mid-January.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE COURTS SERVICE is set to use Croke Park to hold criminal trials during the first three months of the new year.

Trials will be held in conference facilities at the GAA venue from mid-January to provide an area that allows those who work in and appear before the courts to do so safely.

The stadium will provide space for three courts to sit, and it is planned to hold up to 200 court sitting days from January to March 2021.

Trials which are expected to take longer than average will be listed for Croke Park to lessen the impact on the ordinary routines of those involved in court proceedings.

However, the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin’s Parkgate Street will continue to focus on trials which take a shorter time to hear.

The cost of hiring the venue is expected to be around €437,000.

The Courts Service said that certain trials are more suitable for off-site locations and only certain venues are suitable for hosting them, adding that months of planning had gone into leasing Croke Park.

The service’s CEO Angela Denning remarked that Croke Park would ensure the Courts Service could continue to provide access to justice in safe conditions during the pandemic.

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“The facilities provide a venue which is respectful of the importance of the proceedings which will take place there, and which respects the professional needs and the security, privacy and dignity of all court users,” she said.

Mark Dorman of Croke Park added that it was appropriate that the stadium would be used for court sittings because it is “not unused to great adversarial battles”.

“The GAA welcomes the courts to Croke Park, and hope we can build on the relationship that has been established over the years by GAA clubs regularly hosting court sittings, when needed,” he said.

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