Gardaí arrest thirty-four people for breaching Covid-19 restrictions during lockdown

Shocking

Greg Mulhall

Reporter:

Greg Mulhall

Gardaí arrest thirty-four people for breaching Covid-19 restrictions

Gardaí have responded to 405 Covid-19 related incidents since the measures began, with a total of 34 arrests made for breach of the restrictions.

During this time, Gardaí have interacted with hundreds of thousands of people with the vast majority adhering to the public health guidelines.

In a statement released today, they continue to report a high level of compliance with the public health guidelines at the many checkpoints and high visibility patrols it is conducting at tourist locations, natural beauty spots, and parks and beaches across the country.

In a small number of cases, despite receiving a number of warnings, some individuals did not adhere to the guidelines and the regulations were used under the Health Act 1947- Section 31A- Temporary Restrictions (Covid 19) Regulations 2020.

From 8 April, which was when the regulations came into effect, until 18 April 2020 inclusive, Gardaí have invoked the regulations 34 times. Of the 34 incidents, two were as a result of an instruction from a relevant medical professional as per the Act.

In addition, there were 405 Covid-19 related incidents that started as potential breaches of the regulations, but during the incidents other offences were disclosed. As such, long-standing legislation for offences such as public order, assault, road traffic, and drugs was used instead. This included incidents involving house/street parties, gatherings beyond the family unit, and non-essential travel.

Commissioner Drew Harris said, "An Garda Síochána’s role is to keep people safe through community engagement, particularly with the vulnerable, and our tradition of policing by consent.

"In that spirit, Gardaí are engaging with a large amount of people every day and in the vast majority of cases they are complying with the public health guidelines. It is vital this continues because it will help save lives. I want to thank the public for this and also the great support they are giving to our members every day.

"Unfortunately, there are people who did not adhere to the guidelines and Gardaí had no option but to use the regulations or other legislation. It should be stressed though that this is a tiny proportion of the people we have engaged with over this time.

"I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and to recognise the sacrifices that people adhering to the guidelines are making in playing their part in protecting others. It is for those reasons that there is a collective and individual responsibility to maintain compliance with the public health guidelines,” added Commissioner Harris.