Ireland: COVID cost Courts Service €4.3m in 2021

The Irish Law Society Gazette reports

The annual report of the Courts Service shows that COVID-19 restrictions continued to affect its finances last year.

The report, published last week, shows that the body spent just over €4.3 million on COVID-related measures in 2021.

Almost 70% of this was linked to leases (€1.5 million), spending on court premises (€780,000), and spending on technology (€650,000).

The public-health restrictions also continued to affect income, due to a reduction in licensing and civil business. The report shows that fee income in 2021 was down by 44% compared with 2019.

Current spending rises

Court fees are charged for legal documents lodged and services provided in court offices.

Total income in 2020 fell to just over €27 million, compared with €32.6 million in 2020.

Day-to-day spending by the Courts Service last year was just under €96.5 million – an increase of 9% compared with 2020.

Salaries and wages accounted for almost €59.5 million – up 3% from 2020. Day-to-day courthouse maintenance costs also increased.

Capital spending, however, fell by almost 13% to €57.6 million. This was mainly due to a drop of more than 50% in infrastructural spending on courthouses and other buildings.