Number jailed over TV licence surges by 34pc
Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30
The number of people jailed for not paying court fines over having no TV licences last year surged by another 34pc to 550.
It followed a similar 34pc increase the previous year.
Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd slammed the process of people being jailed for non-payment of TV licence fines as "a huge waste of money".
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald acknowledged the numbers committed to prison for not paying court-ordered fines overall has increased.
The total number of people who were committed to prison last year increased by 2.7pc to 16,155 in comparison to 2013.
Ms Fitzgerald said that there was an 8pc rise in the numbers who are committed for less than three months, adding: "Specifically those committed for the non-payment of a court ordered fine".
She was speaking at the launch of the Irish Prison Services annual report in Dublin yesterday, which detailed that the cost of keeping a prisoner on an annual basis has increased by more than 5pc to €68,959.
Ms Fitzgerald also said that the drugs and alcohol services offered to offenders will be reviewed as tackling this must be "top priority".
Michael Donnellan, the director general of the Irish Prison Service, sympathised with the family of Graham Johnson who was stabbed in Cork prison on Saturday.