first_imgA woman who was taken from her home in Co Donegal at 7am and driven in a taxi by Gardai to Mountjoy Prison for not paying her TV license has said she was terrified by her ordeal.The single mother, who is in her 40s, was forced to spend three hours in the women’s Prison Duachas, before being given a bus ticket back to her home in Donegal.The woman had been fined €450 at a previous sitting of Letterkenny District Court for not paying her TV license. However she said she had come to an agreement with local Gardai to pay back to fine over a period of time and had paid €212.The woman got the shock of her life when two Gardai called to her home at 7.10am recently and then took her by taxi to Mountjoy Prison.The woman revealed how one of the Gardai told her she was “for up the road.”The woman, who has a young son in sixth class in primary school, was forced to leave the boy in tears as she was taken from the house. The woman claimed she had been paying the fine in instalments to Letterkenny Garda station and that a total of €212 of the €450 fine had been paid off.However the woman said that while in the taxi, one of the Gardai produced a brown envelope with €212 in it which he handed back to her.Once she got to Mountjoy the woman was taken to a holding cell where she was held for three hours along with five other women.ALL of the women had been jailed because of non-payment of TV license fines.She was then released and given a bus ticket back to Donegal. The woman said she had never been more scared in all her life.And she said while she accepted that Gardai were only doing their job, she said somebody gave the order to arrest and jail her even though she was trying to her to pay the fine.She told Donegal Daily “I couldn’t believe it when the Gardai called to my home and told me I was “for up the road.” I was terrified and that distraught that I didn’t even have time to put my coat on.“I had never been given any warning letter or anything. I was doing my best and I had almost half the fine paid back. “My 11 year old son was crying his eyes out to see his mother being taken away in a Garda car. Luckily my daughter is older and she was able to look after him,” she said.The woman was taken to her local Garda station and then taken by taxi to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, stopping off in SLigo for a cup of coffee and a cigarette.The woman said the prison authorities were more than nice but she said that didn’t stop her from being terrified.“I had never been in a prison in my life before. I was distraught. Some of the other women were trying to calm me down.“At one stage one of the officers told me that I would be going home later and that settled me a bit. But for all I knew I could have been there for a week,” she said.The woman, along with three of the other women, who were from Louth, Dundalk and Galway, were all given vouchers for bus tickets and they made their way to Bus Eireann in Dublin’s city centre.“We managed to get loss and I was a bit calmer at this stage but I still just wanted to get home to my children,” said the woman.When she arrived home around 9pm that evening, her children were lying on her bed in a distraught state.She admitted she was offered a phonecall by prison staff but was so upset she could not speak to her children.Local Donegal county councillor Gary Doherty has described the woman’s plight as “a major scandal.”He added that she made great efforts to pay the fine and claimed Gardai were in breach of the new Fines Bill which was amended last year to allow people to pay time to pay smaller fines.He said “This is a very serious issue.. Firstly, who made the decision to arrest her and take her to Mountjoy. Why wasn’t she give prior notice of her impending arrest.“Why did the Gardai still have the €212 which she paid into the Garda station in instalments? And why were two Gardai employed at the State’s expense to accompany this lady to Dublin, and a taxi charge incurred, simply to take this lady to Mountjoy for three hours?” he asked.Councillor Doherty along with Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Justice, Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn have now requested a meeting with the Garda Superintendent in Letterkenny.The woman added that she would have gladly paid all of the fine rather than spend a other minute in prison.“It’s not something I would like to do again. But I had no choice. I didn’t have the money.“But when I think of all the money that is being wasted in this country and the amount of money that this Government is wasting and how much money is being made on water charges, it makes me so angry,” she added.The woman said she did not know the cost of the taxi but a Letterkenny-based taxi-firm said the cost of a fare to Dublin was €350.WOMAN SAID SHE WAS TERRIFIED AFTER BEING TAKEN FROM HOUSE TO MOUNTJOY was last modified: February 28th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGardaiprisonwomanlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *