16th February 2015
Writing on the front page of the Saturday edition of the Irish Examiner, Cormac O'Keeffe reports that there were almost 9,000 committals to prison in 2014 for failure to pay court-ordered fines. Read the Irish Examiner article in full here.
In 2013 and 2014, committals for fines default made up more than half of committals to prison in Ireland. IPRT commented:
"Imprisoning people for non-payment of fines impacts disproportionately on the less well off. It is a pointless waste of taxpayers’ money, creates an additional burden on a strained prison system, and achieves nothing.
"Two Fines Acts were passed by the Oireachtas in 2010 and 2014, but still the practice continues in 2015. It is simply unacceptable that the Courts Service has been unable to progress the facility to pay fines by instalment over the last four years, despite commitments by successive Ministers for Justice. Real action on ending the practice of imprisonment for fines is long overdue.”
A number of articles covered the increasing numbers of prison committals for failure to pay court-ordered fines - see below.