It is an offence with a view to compel another person to do or abstain from doing any act which he has a lawful right to do or abstain from doing, wrongfully and without lawful authority to

  • use violence or intimidate that person or a member of his family.
  • injure or damage property of that other
  • persistently follow that person from place to place
  • watch or beset the premises or other place where he resides, works or carries on business or happens to be; or it approaches or
  • follows that other with one more other persons in a disorderly manner to a public place.

A person guilty of the offence may be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or a fine up to £1,905 on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment up to five years or both–


Harassment occurs where the accused by his acts intentionally or recklessly seriously interferes with another’s peace or privacy or causes him alarm, distress or harm.  A reasonable person must realise that the acts in question would cause such alarm, distress or harm to the other.

The offence covers harassment. A one-off action is not generally enough.  The more serious the action, the more likely that less repetition is required to constitute the offence.

There is a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment.  The court may also prevent further contact between the parties.  Breach of such an order is itself an offence. An order may be granted irrespective of whether the defendant is convicted of harassment. The accused may be prohibited for coming within a range of the other person concerned.

Harassment may include following, watching, besetting, pestering or communicating with a person.  It includes serious interference and alarm distress and harm to another caused by the accused.  The offence may be charged in respect of so-called stalking by whatever means including telecommunications.


Where a person is convicted of this offence above, the court may make an additional or alternative order to a penalty that the person shall not for such period communicate by means as specified or not approach within a certain distance as the court shall specify, of the place of residence or employment of the person concerned.  It is an offence to fail to comply with such an order.

The court may make an order notwithstanding that it determines the persons should not be convicted of an offence if it is satisfied having regard to the nature of the evidence, that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

The offence is subject to a summary conviction to a fine up to €1,905 and or imprisonment up to 12 months or on conviction on indictment to an ( unlimited) fine, and imprisonment of up to seven years or both.

Demanding Debt

It is an offence to do any of the following for the purpose of enforcement or payment of a debt.

  • frequent demands which by reason of their frequency are calculated to cause the debtor or a member of his or her family, alarm, distress or humiliation.
  • false representations that a debtor will be prosecuted
  • falsely impersonating an official with authority to enforce payment or
  • use of a document that falsely represents itself to be official.

.  It is subject on summary conviction on a fine up to €1,905.

It is an offence knowing that the other does not consent to what is being done intentionally or recklessly to administer or cause to be taken by another, s substance which he or she knows is capable of interfering substantially with his bodily functions. Administration may refer to an indirect or direct administration.  There is no requirement for harm.

This offence is subject to a summary conviction to a fine up to €1,905 and imprisonment up to 12 months or both and a fine and imprisonment of up to three years on conviction on indictment.


It is an offence,  intentionally or recklessly, to engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or harm to another.   This can cover any category of behaviour.  The offence is committed if the conduct is undertaken intentionally or recklessly.

If death or serious harm results, a substantive charge for assault causing serious harm, manslaughter or murder would be more appropriate. The offence comprises in effect, s reckless endangerment.

It is an offence knowingly or being reckless as to whether the following may cause injury or damage

  • intentionally place or throw any dangerous obstruction on a railway, road, street, waterway or public place.
  • intentionally interfere with machinery, signal, equipment or device for the direction, control the regulation of traffic upon a railway.
  • intentionally interfering with or throwing anything on or at any conveyance to be used on a railway.

Conveyances include boats and land vehicles.  The offence is subject to conviction summarily to a fine of up to €1,905 or imprisonment of 12 months or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment of up to seven years or a fine or both.

Possessing  Instruments for Crime

It is an offence to possess an article in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that the person possesses or controls it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation, facilitation or instigation of a crime.

It is a defence to prove that the article is not held for the above purpose.  The offence is subject on conviction on indictment to imprisonment of up to five years or a fine.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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