Thirteen motorists fined total of €154,000 for non-payment of M50 tolls

Court hears one van driver failed to pay for using the motorway more than 700 times

toll roads

A judge has fined 13 motorists a total of €154,000 after they skipped court prosecutions for repeatedly dodging M50 tolls, including a van driver who failed to pay for using the motorway more than 700 times.

None of the 13 attended their scheduled Dublin District Court hearings on Monday, and Judge Anthony Halpin imposed fines ranging from €4,000 to €25,000 in their absence.

Nine car owners, a lorry driver, and three van owners faced sample charges for avoiding the tolls on Ireland’s busiest road from April to November last year. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) prosecuted them after sending hundreds of warning letters.

Judge Halpin heard information about vehicle types and detailed records of outstanding charges, and he noted that the motorists did not turn up in court despite getting summonses. In each case, he heard evidence of the motorists’ level of engagement with the M50 operators and vehicle ownership history.


Twenty-six cases were adjourned.

Two defendants showed up to plead guilty, and because of that, Judge Halpin ordered them to pay €350 in fines and costs. He also said that ended the criminal prosecution, but the motorway operator could still seek to resolve the amount owed for the unpaid tolls.

Prosecutions proceeded without the 13 defendants who did not come to court, and they were fined.

The judge heard about a van owner who had used the motorway 707 times in a few years but never paid. He and another van owner, who had 666 outstanding tolls, were each fined €25,000, which must be paid within three months. A third van owner, with a record paying for 59 out of 441 tolls, was fined €13,000.

A lorry driver was fined €15,000 after the judge noted he had not paid for any of his 78 trips on the M50.

One private car owner who did not pay for any of his 360 trips and another with a zero payment record for 80 trips were each fined €15,000.