Judge says court staff often have to take thousands in cash home overnight

The local district court judge has reiterated his opposition to the receipt of cash for the court poor box saying court staff sometimes have to keep thousands of euro in their homes overnight after a court sitting. Gavel 2 Judge James O’Connor was speaking at Listowel District Court following similar instructions issued at earlier sittings of the district court in the county. Earlier this week, Judge O’Connor hit out at what he described as the noisy and filthy conditions at Tralee District Court. He said there were people hanging around smoking and yapping disrupting court business. He also called for an end to the practice whereby cash is handed over by defendants when they are ordered to pay money to the court poor box. Reiterating this point at Listowel District Court, Judge O’Connor said that it was unfair that court clerks had to handle large amounts of cash in court. He said there was no garda escort for those staff returning to the headquarters of the Courts Service in Tralee and clerks sometimes had to keep thousands of euro in their homes overnight if the courts office had closed for the day. Judge O’Connor said court staff were already underpaid and overworked without having to handle large sums of cash. The judge asked that in future payments be made by bank draft or a solicitor’s cheque.