The Central Statistics Office is to serve court summons on up to eight people for failing to fill out their census forms — with some claiming they did not want to do so in case the information was passed to Irish Water.
The court actions are brought under the Statistics Act against anyone who fails to provide information to census takers or who knowingly provides false information.
After recent censuses, there has been a number of households who failed to comply with requirements to fill out the forms, but the number that eventually makes it to a district court is small as many of those who initially refused to co-operate provide forms at a later stage.
As a result of a failure to provide data for Census 2016, a CSO spokesman said between six and eight summonses would be issued.
“We have written to a number of people who refused to fill out their forms,” the spokesman said.
“We will be issuing summons to these people in the next short while.”
The CSO spokesman said a number of people had cited the possibility that any information would be shared with others, even though all information provided is confidential.
“Irish Water was mentioned in a few cases,” he said, adding that there was a “variety of reasons” given by people as to why they did not fill out their forms.
“There have been times when people may have other issues with the state and so on,” he said.
“The case goes to court and they have an opportunity to verify or clarify why they are not co-operating.”
Anyone convicted of offences under the Statistics Act faces a maximum fine of €44,000.
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