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24 May 2022

REVEALED: More than two thirds of court fines in Longford going unpaid

Longford Courthouse.

More than two thirds of court fines imposed in Longford are still outstanding, latest figures show

Longford's penal system is in “gross need of reform” after latest figures showed more than two thirds of defendants are refusing to pay court imposed fines.

Only €176,000 from more than €537,000 in financial penalties have been recouped by Courts Service officials in Longford between October 2018 and October 2020.

The statistics are contained this week in a series of documents obtained by the Leader under the Freedom of Information Act.

A total of almost 1,800 fines have been handed out across both courts during the same period with the highest number coming in 2019 when 1,036 fines were recorded.

Those convictions should have seen €274,300 paid into the State's judicial coffers.

However, just €93,715 was recouped leaving over €180,000 outstanding.

During the first ten months of last year, a total of 715 fines were recorded for various offences in Longford courts.

That figure amounted to just over €186,000 being due, but figures provided by the Irish Courts Service show only €56,800 was paid in.

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