Trinity College students paid nearly €600k in fines since 2010

Across Ireland's nine largest third level colleges over the same period, almost €3m was paid in library fines thanks to overdue books

Trinity College students paid nearly €600k in fines since 2010

Trinity College Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

Trinity College Dublin receives the largest pay-out of a university for student fines each year, with €112,111 paid annually.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show the university has been paid €597,925 worth of fines over the period from September 2010 to January 2016.

This is more than double the average that was owed to the college - €53,902.

Across Ireland's nine largest third level colleges over the same period, €2,786,930 was paid in library fines thanks to overdue books.

USI President, Annie Hoey, has called for a cap on library fines to be introduced in all college libraries and for more accountability as to where the money generated from fines is being allocated. Hoey voiced concern over the transformation of library fines from a reprimand to a “substantial cost, which puts students at a severe disadvantage.”

Hoey continued that if it became "quite apparent" that library fines being used "simply as a money-making mechanism, obviously we would have concerns about that."

Fines

At Trinity College Dublin, students who keep books beyond their checkout point are fined 50c per item per day - this increases to €1 per day after two weeks. Lost items are charged the price of item plus administration charge of €50.

Upon graduation, students with college debts or overdue books will not have their degrees conferred. According to the college's website, those who attempt to graduate with outstanding fines or overdue books will be sent a “Proctor's Letter” and charged an additional administration fee of €25.

In Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), a standard overdue loan is charged at 30c per item day. Books on weekly loan are charged €1.50 per item per overdue day. The maximum fine per item is €30.

In Dublin City University (DCU), books with a lending limit of three weeks are fined 50c per item per day. The late return of short-loan books results in fines of 50c per hour.