Saturday 25 May 2019

It's woof justice

Dominic jailed in Mountjoy for not paying Nemo's dog licence

A DUNDALK man recalled a '12 hour nightmare' when he was arrested and sent to Mountjoy Prison last weekend for failure to pay a dog licence fine.

Dominic McKevitt, from Lios Dubh told the 'I was at home last Saturday when there was a knock on my front door. I opened it to the gardaí who told me they were there to arrest me over a dog licence. I just couldn't believe it!'

In July last, he had been fined at Dundalk District Court – in his absence – 300 and ordered to pay costs and expenses of 355, for not having a licence for his two year old Shih Tzu 'Nemo'.

'The fact is I never received that court summons, and the first I knew about the fine was the following week in the

He claimed that there was an ongoing problem with post not arriving to houses in Lios Dubh, and that as Chairman of the Residents 'Association, he had raised this with An Post.

'I did seek to appeal the fine, but as I was on social welfare I just couldn't afford the legal costs.'

'The irony of it all was that I had rescued my little dog Nemo from a bad place and now here I was incarcerated in a bad place because of him. This just does not make sense to me at all.'

After his arrest Dominic was taken to Dundalk Garda station and then on to Mountjoy, where he spent 12 hours in a holding cell before he paid the fine, and was released.

'It was a complete nightmare, I was shaking all over. I couldn't believe they put me in a place where murderers, rapists and thieves are sent, all for 12.70.'

'There were eight prison wardens who had to process me, and all of them were in disbelief that I was there over a dog fine.'

'I was taken to a holding area while the wardens went through the process of committal, signing me in and getting a medical, and a cold sweat enveloped me with every nerve in my body beginning to tremble uncontrollably.'

After paying his fine, Dominic was released, and said 'I had just enough money left to get the bus back to Dundalk.'

'The shock of the experience is still with me. It's unbelievable the amount of taxpayers money that was wasted sending me to prison over a dog licence.'