Eoghan Murphy
Eoghan Murphy

08.57 4 Nov 2020


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Nearly one-third of fines handed out in District Courts last year have not been paid.

According to Freedom of Information figures released to Newstalk, these amount to over €6.6m.

In 2019, nearly 64,000 fines were given out by judges in District Courts - amounting to €21.4m.

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But only 42,000 have been paid, coming to €14.8m.

That means 31% were not paid, slightly better than 35% in 2018.

Last year almost one-third of fines in Dublin and Cork city are still outstanding.

Some smaller courts had even worse collection rates, with 82% unpaid in Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Barrister Morgan Shelley says it is down to a system introduced in 2016 that cut the number of people jailed for refusing to pay.

"It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that when they got rid of the default prison sentence for each fine that was not paid, that the numbers of people not paying their fines effectively trebled overnight.

"The lack of a threat of a prison sentence seems to be what's made the difference between people paying fines and not paying fines".

Some €273,000 worth of fines are outstanding in Limerick from last year, and 292,000 in Meath.


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Belmullet Co. Mayo District Court District Courts Dublin Fines Freedom Of Information Limerick Meath

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