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21 Jan 2022

Courts system will collapse under weight of trial backlog if drastic measures are not taken, says Longford Circuit Court Judge

System will collapse under weight of trial backlog if drastic measures are not taken, says Longford Circuit Court Judge

Judge Keenan Johnson has expressed his concern at the number of Circuit Court trials that need to be heard in Longford but cannot go ahead because of the current public health emergency.

Commenting this morning on the number of trials that have been put back in the county, Judge Johnson noted recent reports that 93% of court cases had pleaded, while 7% opted for trial.

"But on the basis of what's happening here today, those figures are completely skewed," he said after a large number of trials were mentioned at this morning's Circuit Court sitting.

"Everyone is entitled to a jury trial but the number of trials being mentioned here today is off the wall.

"If the system continues like this, it will just collapse under the weight.

"I'm going to have to get a judge here for at least six weeks for all the trials outstanding. It's just gone out of control altogether.

"I don't want this dragging on for years and years so drastic action needed."

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