Father spent one night in jail before paying alimony

Man tells court he could only afford to pay €10 a week despite €266,000 injury claims

The Clare man was sentenced to three weeks in Limerick Prison failing to pay arrears owed on the €90-a-week maintenance due to his estranged partner for their children. Image: Google Streetview

The Clare man was sentenced to three weeks in Limerick Prison failing to pay arrears owed on the €90-a-week maintenance due to his estranged partner for their children. Image: Google Streetview

 

A father jailed for three weeks by a judge for not paying maintenance for his two children spent only one night in Limerick Prison before he handed over €6,490, it has emerged.

The Clare man had been jailed for 21 days at the Family Law Court in Ennis by Judge Patrick Durcan for failing to pay arrears owed on the €90-a-week maintenance due to his estranged partner for their children.

The man, who has received €266,000 in two personal injury claims, told the judge that he could only afford to pay back €10 a week.

The jailing for non-payment of maintenance is extremely rare. The Irish Prison Service confirms that one individual was jailed for not making maintenance payments in 2015. In 2014, five men were jailed.

The man had arrived to court in a car valued at €60,000, though he denied that he owned it, saying that it belonged to his mother.

He got €234,000 from a successful personal injury claim in 2013 and an additional €23,000 from another claim in 2015.

In January, solicitor, Shiofra Hassett, appearing for the man’s partner, said that no agreement had been made to reduce the weekly payments.

“He made a unilateral decision to reduce arrears. He is clearly in better financial circumstances than my client,” Ms Hassett said.