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Question

296. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons that were jailed for not having a television licence in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38395/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Deputy will be aware that the management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998. The Courts Service is independent in exercising its functions, as of course are the judiciary, including the imposition of sentences for any offence. As Minister for Justice I have no direct role in these matters.
I can inform the Deputy that the offence of not having a TV licence under section 148 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 does not carry a penalty of imprisonment. A term of imprisonment may however be imposed for not paying the fine incurred for the offence of not having a TV licence.
I am informed by the Courts Service that the below table details the number persons who received an order of imprisonment under the Fines Act for not paying the fine imposed on foot of not having a TV licence, in the years requested.

Year No. of Persons
2018 13
2019 6
2020 1
Jan – May 2021 1
TOTAL 21