Judge allows raft of TV licence offenders a ‘channel’ to pay

June 9, 2024

A District Court Judge has adjourned a raft of cases involving Donegal people over a failure to pay the TV licence.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned nine cases which came before her at Letterkenny District Court.

In the case of each of the nine cases, Judge Cunningham, having heard evidence, found the facts proven.

However, Judge Cunningham said that she would allow all parties “an opportunity to make good their obligations in the current circumstances.”

In order to give an “ample opportunity”, Judge Cunningham adjourned the cases until December 3, 2024 for sentencing.

It is a criminal offence in Ireland to have a television without a valid TV licence. On conviction, an offence carries a maximum fine of €1,000 fine and a conviction is recorded against the person.

The cases were taken by An Post, who alleged the failure to pay the €160 licence fee.

Mr Kieran Dillon, the State Solicitor for Donegal, represented An Post in the cases, which arose from visits to homes by a TV licence inspector, who was present in court to give evidence.

In one of the cases, a person claimed that they were not living at the property concerned.

Another person said they were entitled to a free TV licence in a Household Benefit Package from the Department of Social Protection.

Judge Cunningham sought to have this clarified for the next court date.

Last year, when the RTÉ payments controversy shot to the headlines, TV licence sales dropped by a staggering 13 per cent – resulting in a €20 million loss of revenue.

Strike out orders were made in several other cases where people had taken out TV licences since being summoned.