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Begging law ruled unconstitutional in High Court

Published 15/03/2007

The law on begging has been struck out by the High Court after a man successfully argued that it was unconstitutional.

Mr Justice Eamon De Valera said s.3 of the Vagrancy Act which deals with begging, breaches the constitutional right to expression and to communicate with others.

Niall Dillon took the case against the DPP to prevent him from prosecuting him on a charge of begging on Parliament Street in Dublin in 2003.

This part of the act also provided for a mandatory prison sentence for people convicted of begging.

Mr Dillon had told the court he was outside a Spar shop on Parliament Street when he was arrested - adding that he was sitting with a cup of coffee in a quiet and peaceful manner.

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