Jailed TDs critical of ‘unworkable’ court fine system

Leader Reporters

Reporter:

Leader Reporters

Mick Wallace TD arriving at Limerick Prison, where he spent less than two hours in detention. Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22
SOCIALIST TD Clare Daly has strongly criticised the ‘utter lunacy’ of the court fine system that saw her briefly jailed in Limerick Prison this week.

SOCIALIST TD Clare Daly has strongly criticised the ‘utter lunacy’ of the court fine system that saw her briefly jailed in Limerick Prison this week.

Deputy Daly - along with Independent TD Mick Wallace - was jailed for two hours this Wednesday having refused to pay a €2,000 fine after being found guilty of breaching a restricted area in Shannon Airport in 2014.

Both had been sentenced to a 30 day stint in prison for refusing to pay the fines and were duly taken to Limerick Prison at different intervals this Wednesday, but were released shortly after.

Ms Daly said the system that saw both TDs jailed briefly for non-payment of the court fines was “disgraceful”.

“It is utter lunacy. We are on the Dail record already as saying the whole system of court fines is completely unworkable, it is a waste of Garda resources, it is a waste of prison staff resources and this Government has sat on its hands in terms of bringing in a serious alternative, which is nothing got to do with us today, it is a far bigger problem,” she said.

Mick Wallace said the campaign against the use of Shannon by the US Military would continue.

“Don’t worry, we will get in there again, it is an absolute disgrace that the planes are not being searched and we will keep at this until the Government cops on to themselves and stops allowing Shannon to be used as a US Military air base to kill innocent people,” he said.

Limerick Senator James Heffernan was extremely critical of Wallace’s arrest and - albeit - brief detention as “wrong, stupid and heavy-handed”.

“Regardless of what you think of Mick Wallace, I have to agree with him 100 per cent on this occasion,” said the Kilfinane native, who is running in the general election as a candidate for the Social Democrats.

“But what it does is, it puts the spotlight now on the whole issue of neutrality and on the issue of the use of Shannon Airport and we need to now start the wind down of the use of that airport by foreign military because the economic arguments that are made about it, they just don’t stack up.”