Covid-19: Criminal trials to be held at Croke Park due to pandemic

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image captionCroke Park is being used to help the Irish courts operate during the Covid-19 pandemic

Criminal trials are set to be held in Dublin's Croke Park for the first three months of 2021 to help implement Covid-19 safety measures.

The stadium, which houses the headquarters of the GAA, is being used to facilitate Court Service business taking place during the pandemic.

RTÉ reports up to 200 sittings will take place during the time period.

The Irish broadcaster says the new court facility in the stadium will allow three courts to sit at a time.

Courts Service CEO Angela Denning said the service had been "challenged across the country to try and facilitate criminal trials", and that it had a responsibility to safety.

She said there were 12 venues across the country in operation, and feedback had been positive.

"We will use Croke Park to ensure this track record of safety is continued as we provide access to justice in safe and suitable conditions," she said.

The venue will cost €437,000 (£396,000) for the next three months.

In Northern Ireland, courts have been in operation since August.

Facilities have been fitted with glass and plastic screens for the protection of those in the courtroom and social distancing measures are in place.

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