PRESIDENT Mary McAleese and justice minister Dermot Ahern officially opened Ireland's new multi-million-euro Criminal Courts of Justice complex in Dublin yesterday.

The ceremony was also attended by Dublin's Lord Mayor Emer Costello and Chief Justice John L Murray.

The President was given a brief tour of the complex, which is now in full operation, before an ecumenical blessing in the great hall.

Following ceremonies, President McAleese unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the official launch of the facility, which was introduced to public use on a gradual basis from last month. The €140m complex houses all of the criminal courts and includes, according to the Courts Service, some of the best facilities in the world.