Courts Service HQ report highlights damp, black mould, and fire escapes frequently blocked by storage and clutter

A report on the headquarters of the Courts Service found damp, broken tiles, patches of black mould, as well as fire exits that were regularly blocked because of files being stored in corridors.

The report also explained how staff often ate lunch at their desks because there were no spaces to “sit and socialise” with colleagues while some of the most attractive parts of the office were crammed with papers and documents.

A survey of employees was told that the Dublin HQ was “very poorly laid out” with a high density of desks and “excessive storage”.

The report said there was an “unwelcoming reception” area which was dark and dated and created an “uninspiring experience” for staff and visitors to the building.

It said there was no building fire strategy in place with “storage and clutter … kept in corridors, often blocking fire exits”.

Technology was not up to date either making it difficult to carry out “hybrid” meetings between staff who were in the office and those working from home or elsewhere.