Fewer than 20 people have been prosecuted for failing to complete the 2006 census form despite warnings of a zero-tolerance approach for non-compliance and hefty fines for offenders.
Under the Statistics Act 1993 it is an offence to not take part in a census of population with offenders liable to be summoned to appear before a District Court judge.
Prior to the 2006 census, there was a sustained media campaign to encourage full participation and warnings that non-compliance could result in fines of up to €25,000. However a Central Statistics Office (CSO) spokesman has revealed that they only sought to prosecute people in "extreme circumstances" with nobody receiving fines anywhere near the maximum €25,000.
While 2006's census recorded the country's highest population in 150 years of 4.1 million, over 43,000 respondents failed to state their country of nationality. That amounts to more than one per cent of respondents.