This is Dundalk Courthouse and it's where I will be spending a good deal of my working hours for the
coming months as our chief court reporter is on maternity leave and I will be attempting to fill her shoes - not an easy
task as she really relishes the job of court reporting.
The courthouse itself was designed by Edward Park in the 19th century and supposedly based on the
portico design and dimensions of the Temple of Theseus in Athens.
There's a saying in journalist circles that all human life is to be found in court and it's certainly an interesting
experience to sit there and listen to the cases. There are stories of crime, of tragedy, of lives ruined, of dreams gone wrong. As a parent, it is at times scary to see how easily young lives can go off the track.
Returning to court reporting after a break of a number of years, I was shocked at how prevalent the drug culture is in our society, of how many teenagers were presenting as drug addicts and alcoholics. If you want an insight into what our modern society is really like, then a day in court will give it to you much better than The Wire or CSI as you get to
hear the unglamourous facts behind the crimes of violence, hate and passion.