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Imprisonment of people for non payment of fines must cease – O’Brien

30 May, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said it is a disgrace that a Garda found guilty of assault causing harm can walk free from court while 550 people were jailed last year for non payment of fines.

Deputy O’Brien said the case of Garda Dean Foley makes a mockery of the justice system.

Speaking today he said:

“The fact that people are still being imprisoned for non payment of fines is hard to believe given the passing of the Fines Bill last year.

“This is a very costly practice and an extreme waste of time.

“The Minister must urgently ensure that the measures included in the Fines Bill as alternatives to prison are put into practice. We can’t have a situation where legislation has been enacted without the resources necessary to implement it.

“It is a disgrace that a Garda found guilty of assault causing harm can walk free from court while people are still being jailed over failures to pay fines.

“This makes a complete mockery of the justice system and shows that there is one rule for ordinary people and quite a different rule for those in positions of power in this State.” ENDS

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