Mon­aghan res­i­dents most likely to serve on jury duty

■ Courts Ser­vice plans a re­vamp of the way ju­rors are se­lected for duty

Irish Examiner - - News - Ken Foxe

Mon­aghan peo­ple are most likely to do their civic duty and serve on a jury, with more than half of all those called mak­ing them­selves avail­able for tri­als.

Ire­land’s least pop­u­lous county Leitrim is the place where you were least likely to serve, with just 15% of those called last year at­tend­ing in court.

The Courts Ser­vice has also con­firmed it plans a ma­jor re­vamp of se­lect­ing ju­rors with a cen­tralised sys­tem set to be in­tro­duced this year.

Fig­ures show over 11,000 peo­ple were called up for jury duty each month in 2018, with wide vari­a­tions in how many at­tend across dif­fer­ent coun­ties.

Sta­tis­tics cov­er­ing 2017 and most of 2018 show Mon­aghan’s track record for jury ser­vice is the high­est in the coun­try.

In the first 11 months of last year, 1,075 peo­ple were called up with 634 at­tend­ing court as re­quired.

Only 77 were ex­cused from duty in Mon­aghan, with 364 fail­ing to turn up and not pro­vid­ing any ex­cuse.

Some 37,600 peo­ple from Dublin were called for jury duty in the pe­riod. Of those, 7,546 showed up as re­quested, with a fur­ther 26,782 ex­cused for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. An­other 3,272 peo­ple were no shows, ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures.

From those listed as“ex­cused ”,495 turned out to have been dead, while in 2,385 cases, their let­ter was “re­turned to sender”.

Other coun­ties with high at­ten­dance records were W ex ford and West me a th where around 30% of po­ten­tial ju­rors ended up at­tend­ing for ser­vice.

More than half a dozen coun­ties had at­ten­dance rates of less than 20% after no-shows and ex­cused ju­rors were counted. These in­clude Water­ford, Laois, and Kerry.

Cork and Kerry both had high rates for ex­cus­ing ju­rors with 75% of those called given per­mis­sion to avoid serv­ing.

Ex cu sal rates in Me a th and Wick­low were much lower, with only around half of those sum­moned for duty al­lowed not to sit on a jury.

Some cat­e­gories of peo­ple are au­to­mat­i­cally ex­empt from ser­vice and are con­sid­ered ei­ther ineligible or ex­cused “as of right”.

Ineligible ju­rors are peo­ple in­volved in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice like judges, ga rd aí, sol­diers, prison of­fi­cers, and lawyers. Peo­ple suf­fer­ing from se­ri­ous on­go­ing ill­nesses are also ex­empted.

Those ex­cused “as of right” in­clude TD sand Se­na­tors, many med­i­cal per­son­nel who pro­vide an “im­por­tant com­mu­nity ser­vice”, and some who can demon­strate that their work can­not be done by any­body else.

Self-em­ployed peo­ple — par­tic­u­larly sole traders — can some­times be ex­cused from ser­vice as their busi­ness could suf­fer if they were forced to serve through a long trial.

Oth­ers are ex­cluded from ser­vice whether they like it or not, in­clud­ing those con­victed of se­ri­ous of­fences, any­body who has been given a jail term of five years or more, and any­one who in the last decade has been given a prison sen­tence of at least three months.

Wide vari­a­tions be­tween coun­ties are at least partly down to so­cio-eco­nomic rea­sons and also the ac­cu­racy of the elec­toral roll, from which ju­rors are drawn.

Coun­ties with high lev­els of self-em­ploy­ment in agri­cul­ture and con­struc­tion can of­ten have higher than nor­mal ex­cusal rates as well.

A spokesman for the Courts Ser­vice said there had been a sig­nif­i­cant drop in the num­bers not at­tend­ing for jury ser­vice com­pared to a decade ago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.