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01 Jul 2022

Over €4,000 in fines handed out to TV licence evaders in Longford last week

Over €4,000 in fines handed out to TV licence evaders in Longford last week

Seventeen people in Longford were fined a combined total of over €4,000 last week for being caught without a TV licence.

Almost €4,200 in financial penalties were handed out last week by Judge Éiteáin Cunningham in a total of 30 prosecutions which were taken by An Post.

Almost all of those found to be in breach of the State's TV licensing laws were fined €160 alongside a further €125 in legal costs.

All consumers of television programmes are required to pay the charge, with those who do not open to a fine of up to €1,000 (or €2,000 for subsequent offences).

An Post is currently responsible for issuing licences and collecting payments.

It comes amid heightened calls for the license to be scrapped and replaced with a public service media charge for all households and businesses.

Among those to be hit with a summons at last week's District Court sitting was a woman living at an address in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.

TV licence inspector Declan Yorke gave evidence of having called to the woman's place of residence on October 19, 2021.

At the outset of last Tuesday's hearing, there was initial confusion as to who would be representing her when both Frank Gearty and Bríd Mimnagh took to their feet.

“This lady seems to have instructed two solicitors which is very disconcerting,” quipped Mr Gearty amid a flurry of laughter in court.

As Mr Gearty stepped aside to allow Ms Mimnagh address the court on behalf of the lady, the court was informed of the defendant's difficulty in understanding English.

“She didn't understand what Mr Yorke said to her,” said Ms Mimnagh, adding how her client had also “signed something” during the pair's conversation at the property.

Sitting in the witness box, Mr Yorke rejected those assertions and appeared to indicate the lady had been fully aware of the likely legal repercussions which would follow.

“She didn't sign anything and there was a TV observed on the premises,” he said.

The case was adjourned until June 14 when a full hearing is expected to be heard.

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