EXCLUSIVE: Offaly gardaí told 'not to prosecute' almost half of cases sent to DPP
The Offaly Express can reveal that 43% of all files relating to crime in Offaly and sent from the county's garda stations to the DPP are returned with directions not to prosecute.
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 369 files have been sent from Tullamore and Birr Garda Stations to the DPP for direction over the last three years.
With three cases still pending from 2017, 366 files have been dealt with by the Director of Public Prosecutions over that period and returned with various directions. Of those, 158 came back with a direction not to prosecute.
The files sent from Offaly stations to the DPP deal with a wide array of crimes, from public order at one end of the scale to fatal and non-fatal offences against the person, firearms, drugs and burglary.
In those three years, from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017, the DPP has directed 119 files be prosecuted summarily in the District Court, while 89 have been referred to indictment hearings at higher courts. Those indictment offences relate mostly to serious crimes like assault, burglary, sexual offences and drugs.
The figures seen by the Offaly Express show that the DPP directed prosecution on indictment or summarily at the District Court for 31 drug related offences, 18 firearms offences, 60 assaults and related offences, and 47 burglary related files over the three-year period.
These numbers do not represent the total number of cases going before courts in Offaly since 2015 as gardaí can charge and bring an individual to court independent of the DPP.
Nevertheless, trials arising from DPP directed files cost a considerable amount of money, and in fact, in Offaly alone over the last three years, have cost a total of €604,440 to prosecute between State Solicitor and counsel fees.
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