The number of breaches of court protection orders in domestic abuse cases reported to gardaí increased by more than 60% during the pandemic.
An RTE Investigates programme to be broadcast tonight shows the figures have risen compared to 2018 and 2019.
Court protection orders are designed to protect victims of domestic abuse from their abusers.
The figures will form part of the research for a documentary that examines the increase in the number of reports of domestic abuse in Ireland over the last 12 months, with many services across the country describing themselves as “overwhelmed”.
In 2018 and 2019, there were 2,504 breaches of protection orders reported. That number increased to 4,072 of orders during the first two years of the pandemic when there were multiple lockdowns.
The figures reveal that over the same periods, reports of breaches of safety orders increased by 12% and breaches of barring orders increased by 22%.
During 2020, the number of breaches of domestic abuse orders shot up, with a total of 4,345 breaches reported.
In 2021, the number of reports of breaches continued to rise, with 4,672 reported.
278 of these cases last year led to imprisonment, representing 6% of the breaches recorded. But the actual number of offenders jailed was smaller again because some offenders were imprisoned for more than one breach of an order.
The figures from the Department of Justice show that the number of breaches of domestic abuse orders where there was a conviction increased by more than 50% last year. They rose from 547 in 2020 to 782 in 2021.