Thursday, 25 March 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
74. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the fines imposed on a person (details supplied) in County Sligo will be waived or reduced in view of the fact that he has no financial means and has to borrow money to repay his debts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8659/99]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): There is no petition or application to open a petition on hand for consideration by me in respect of the person referred to by the Deputy. I have arranged to have the appropriate application form issued to the person concerned and to the Deputy.
I should, however, bring to the Deputy's attention the fact that the 1995 High Court judgment on petitions stated that the power of clemency which I may exercise must be used sparingly and only in special and exceptional circumstances. As a consequence of applying the High Court judgment to the assessment of petitions-applications to open a petition, approximately 99 per cent of petition cases which I have adjudicated on have had to be refused. I should also mention that the existence of a petition-application to open a petition does not preclude the Garda from enforcing warrants.
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