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'I only ever use it to put flowers on' – our weird excuses for not buying a TV licence

FROM hiding their TV set in the garden shed to claiming they use it as a floral display stand – these are just some of the bizarre and feeble excuses members of the public have used in a bid to avoid paying their TV licence.

TV licences cost €160 and An Post estimates the evasion rate is 15pc. The maximum fine for having no licence is €1,000.

An Post TV inspector Paul Brennan says he's heard every excuse under the sun and seen all sorts of behaviour.


"I've seen people dragging the TV out to the back garden or putting it in the closet to avoid me seeing it," he said.

An elderly woman told Mr Brennan she simply used her TV to display colourful bouquets of flowers.

"One lady said the TV in front of me was broken and used only as a stand for a vase of flowers.

"So I switched the TV on to check. As it burst into life she remarked: 'But look the colour is not as good as it should be'."

Others claim complete ignorance when informed they are breaking the law.

"I had a case recently where a guy told me that he didn't have a TV," Paul told An Post magazine Postnews.

"He invited me in and right there was a 42-inch plasma TV. He claimed it was a computer and then began to curse the well-known electrical shop for selling him the wrong product."

And the list goes on – one homeowner tried to wriggle out of paying their TV licence by claiming they merely used the glow from the set as a lamp to help them read.


A Belfast native said questioning his mortality had led him to believe there was no point in coughing up. "I don't want to pay for a licence for a full year. Knowing my luck, I'll be dead in six months and won't get value for money."

Another said he didn't think he had to pay because the set was stolen.

And another man claimed to have been under the impression he didn't have to pay a TV licence because his pet corgi was related to one of HRH the Queen's pet pooches.