Independent TD Mattie McGrath has extended his unqualified support to the Tipperary Solicitors Bar Association (TSBA) after it raised serious concern about the continued downgrading of court services in the county. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the TSBA confirmed it had been informed by the Court Service of Ireland that the scheduled reopening of the District Probate Registry Office in Clonmel ,due in March 2016 will not proceed as planned:
“This is a very serious and worrying escalation of the apparent rush to downgrade legal services in Co. Tipperary.
The decision to postpone the restoration of Probate services until some unknown future date is going to cause untold hardship for families precisiely at those times when they are most vulnerable.
As I understand it from the TSBA this decision means that all Tipperary Probate documents will continue to be sent to Dublin involving months of delayed payment of Bills for services like Nursing Home bills and funeral bills.
Banks as we know cannot release funds without a Grant of Probate, so the passing of Title, the selling of property, the obtaining of loans and the acquiring and transfer of assets will all be delayed.
That is why it is vital that the Court Service immediately reconsider this incomprehensible and unjust decision.
I also understand that residents of some areas in Carrick-on-Suir will now have to travel over 23 kilometres to the Courthouse in Waterford for Court hearings despite the fact that at present the very same people currently reside 3 kilometres from the Courthouse in Carrick-on-Suir.
In the same week that we received news of no extra gardaí being allocated, this sends very clear signals from a justice point of view, that Tipperary is being treated with utter disdain by those far removed from the reality of life in the county.
It is also a stark indication of how the outgoing governments desire to centralise almost every service is leaving rural Ireland more and more unsustainable from a public access point of view” concluded Deputy McGrath.