Gardaí in Cork intervened after more than 700 people attended a organised "car meet” at Eastgate, Little Island, County Cork, last Saturday, December 19 in contravention of the public health regulations and guidelines that are currently in place.
Upon arrival at the scene, Gardaí observed in excess of 250 vehicles and 700 – 800 persons gathered.
There was very little evidence of social distancing, wearing of face coverings or general compliance with public health guidelines. The ge range of those in attendance were some older males in their 30s/40s, some accompanied by young children, but mainly males and females in their 20s.
Participants had travelled from outside the greater Cork area and various parts of Munster. Speaking last night the Senior Garda Inspector at the event described "a disgraceful gathering of persons, despite the health advice in the last few days".
Gardaí immediately engaged with this large group and advised them to disperse, a direction which was complied with by all in attendance within a short period of time.
One male, aged in his late 20s, was arrested for drunkenness offences, later charged and bailed to appear in court at a later date, and one car was seized under section 41 Road Traffic Act.
People are reminded that amended health regulations currently remain in place. These regulations ban gatherings of more than 15 people.
In a statement issued over the weekend gardaí noted, "While this event appears to have been organised on social media, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to investigate any event held in breach of the Covid-19 regulations and advice will be sought from the DPP in each case.
"Travel restrictions have been eased for the Christmas period, however individuals still have personal social responsibility in attending events, wearing of face coverings and social distancing. These are not penal regulations, but they are public health guidelines which should be followed by all.
"An Garda Síochána would like to remind the public that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and is a real threat to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our society. The virus is still spreading. It is still leading to serious illness and death."