Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has expressed his disappointment that Larne is one of 4 Courthouses to be closed across Northern Ireland as a cost cutting measure by Justice Minister David Ford.
Mr Beggs, the only East Antrim MLA to personally respond to the public consultation document earlier in the year commented;
“Confirmation that Larne Courthouse will be closed sadly comes as no surprise. There have been successive plans to close the Courthouse and centralise justice services elsewhere over the years. In the past however, local representatives – led by the former MP had been able to convince the authorities not to go ahead. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020417/halltext/20417h03.htm
This time the consultation did prove to be merely cosmetic, and I believe the decision to close was taken long ago. Nevertheless I and my Ulster Unionist Party colleagues- who attended the public meeting in the Courthouse in the Spring- did at least make the case, and put up a strong fight for retention. Can others say the same?
Closure of the Courthouse is a blow to the civic status of the Borough of Larne. It is just another example of a loss of a public service to the local area, and continues a worrying trend of marginalisation seen in recent years.”