Getting There and the new building
When I woke up this morning I really, really, did not want to go. I was still worrying about what awful case I might have to sit through, or just whether I would be dragged into something that would last for weeks, so I did my usual “game of chicken” with time and ended up getting a taxi to be sure of arriving at the appointed hour – 09:45.
I have to say it wasn’t the most exciting morning of my life – the only action was the fire-brigade trying to get up the South Quays being blocked by the Garda motorcyclist who was busily (and veeerrrrryyyyyy slllooooowwwwly) telling motorists to get out of the way while driving sedately along in front of the increasingly frustrated firemen. Meanwhile I was quietly panicking – what happens to people if they turn up late?
This is my first view of the new Criminal Courts of Justice building. I feel sorry for the architect – all that work to design a quite good-looking, functional building, and then it is plonked down in one of the saddest and most depressing-looking parts of Dublin. Perhaps that was for the benefit of the clientele? It’s very sad, really, the Conyngham Road and Parkgate Street junction leads up to one of the finest parks in Europe, location of the National Museum, and the Peoples Gardens, just round the corner form a main railway station and Kilmainham Hospital, e.g. where the tourists go.. and the only decent-looking new public project was a courthouse. Imagine what they could have done round here with the budget that was thrown away on the Spike?
I got out of the taxi across the road from the main entrance about 09:43.
Tip No 1: Conyngham Road/Parkgate Street is a busy junction. If you are going to leg it across the road, make sure the first car in the oncoming traffic is a Garda vehicle, point to the courthouse and run. If no Garda car, add at least 5 minutes to your schedule.
Inside the courthouse, the first thing you see is an airport-style security check. Makes you think – are they protecting us from the clients, or the clients from us?
Tip No. 2: If you think you have arrived on time – you haven’t – there’s the queue to get your bag scanned. Add at least 5 minutes to your schedule.