By Ann Casey and Paul Murphy
Gardaí are investigating a petrol bomb attack on the Courthouse in Trim which occurred early this morning (Tuesday).
A petrol bomb was thrown through a window at the front of the building into the original heritage courtroom, which is a protected structure.
It caused extensive smoke damage to the small historic District Courtroom, which is not in general use. It is believed the cost of restoration could be extensive due to its heritage status.
The remainder of the building was unharmed and both Trim District Court and the Circuit Court sittings scheduled for today, continued as normal.
A spokesperson for the Courts Service said the smoke damage to the heritage courtroom was the limited extent of the damage.
“All courts went ahead and the incident will in no way affect court sittings or cases,” he said.
Anybody who was in Trim town any time between 3am and 5.30am this morning and who may have seen any person acting suspiciously in the area is asked to contact Trim Garda Station on 046-9481547 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.
Deputy Peadar Toibin, whose offices are close to the Courthouse, said the incident was an absolutely shocking development. He had seen the garda activity and the cordoned off area when he arrived at his offices this morning.
“It is unprecedented that a petrol bomb was thrown at Trim Courthouse. A petrol bomb is a very dangerous weapon that can cause massive indiscriminate damage, potentially destroying the court and the surrounding buildings. Thankfully this did not occur on this occasion. There is increased worry and anxiety amongst many in Trim with regards the growth in crime and antisocial behaviour in the town.
“It is really important that it is tackled head on. We need extra gardaí in Meath and we need them now. We urgently need a purpose built Garda headquarters, we need parents to know what their children are up to and to take responsibility for their behaviour. We need the necessary youth services, mental health services and drug rehabilitation services in Meath now. Trim is a great town. We need to keep it that way,” he said.
Trim Courthouse was built in 1810 and an extensive refurbishment was carried out in the 1990s which included a modern extension as well as careful preservation of the older building including the detailed restoration of the fine interior to the old District Court room, which was damaged in this morning’s attack.