ONLY seven anti-social behaviour orders have been issued since the ASBO scheme was set up in 2007.
The system was supposed to offer new hope to housing estates and towns plagued by loitering and vandalism.
But statistics show that in two and a half years, just four adults have been slapped with ASBOs, and only three juveniles were subjected to a court order.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is facing stern criticism over the scheme with Fine Gael's Alan Shatter saying it is "regrettable" that it has failed.
Labour's Justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte told the Herald ASBOs were "having no impact".
"Gardai find them too clumsy and tedious to work through," he said. The figures released by the Department of Justice suggest that gardai are enforcing the system at local level, but ASBO cases rarely come before the courts.
The scheme was set up in the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and provided for civil proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour in relation to adults from January 2007.
The Justice Minister has defended the scheme: "The intention was that interventions short of a court order would address the problem behaviour. If they succeed, there will be no need to apply to the courts."