April 13, 2011

A DONEGAL-based Garda today called for an overhaul of the way court-imposed fines are collected.

Garda Odhrán Mc Bride, who is stationed in the county, said the current system is caught up in bureaucracy and is “a drain on resources”.

He described arresting people for non-payment of fines and taking them to Castlrea Prison only for them to be quickly released.

“You find them coming back up the road behind you,” he told the GRA annual conference.

Gardai have described the current system as “antiquated, inefficient and overly bureaucratic”.

At their annual conference in Co. Mayo, they have voted unanimously to call for the Revenue Commissioners to be tasked with the collection of court-imposed fines.

They claim they are wasting endless hours of their time chasing up small fines, which is ultimately costing the taxpayer money.

Gardaí want collection of court-imposed fines to be linked to a person’s tax records instead of what is currently in place.

This afternoon, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter will address the conference where he will hears call to abandon plans on reducing garda numbers.



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