Jan 2015 - Oct 2016

New figures show that 84 out of 99 speeding summonses were not served in Manorhamilton area

Drivers escape court appearance

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

Nearly half of speeding motorists have avoided a court appearance in the last years because of issues with the service of summons according to figures revealed by the Irish Independent.

The problem was worst in the Manorhamilton area of Co Leitrim where 84 out of 99 summonses issued between January 2015 and Ocotber 2016 for speeding were not served.

Courts Service data shows that of 66,800 speeding cases listed nationally in the courts between January 2015 and October 2016,  30,600 were struck out because summonses were not served on the defendants.

The problem has become so serious that gardaí have set up a working group to examine the problem.

In Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, 248 out of 391 summonses - some 63pc - went unserved.
Other summons service 'blackspots' included Killarney, Co Kerry, where 558 of 910 summonses went unserved, and Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, where 24 out of 39 summonses were not served.

At county level, the issue was most prevalent in Monaghan and Kerry, where 61pc and 59pc of summons respectively were not served.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told the Irish Independent that some summonses were not served in situations where there was "inaccurate address data, persons moving address, or living in multi occupancy dwellings or other settings which make service difficult".

Other defendants were also trying to evade service, adding to difficulties for gardai.

The proximity of the border to areas like Co Leitrim also created difficulties with service.