Tralee is to get a new courthouse and it’ll be built on a different site to the court’s current location on Ashe Street. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, says the Courts Service has identified a potential site which is in State ownership. The Justice Minister says the Courts Service is assessing the site in Tralee to establish whether it’s suitable for a courthouse. Frances Fitzgerald has told independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, that the provision of a new courthouse for Tralee depends on securing an alternative site and the availability of funding. She says she’s aware it’s not possible to improve facilities in the existing courthouse on Ashe Street. Judge James O’Connor has criticised what he’s described as the “noise and filth” on court days and that he finds it to be the most awkward court in the south west. The 19th century building has no wheelchair access and office staff have had to move to rented premises for health and safety reasons. Up to recently, there was no dedicated space for vulnerable witnesses and they were often in close proximity to defendants.