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Court prosecution confirmed over alleged breach of Covid regulations in Limerick

Seven people arrested by Gardai under Operation Fanacht over Easter weekend

Gardai have issued more than 3,500 fines for breaches of the Covid-19 travel regulations

AT least one person is to be prosecuted before the courts in Limerick for allegedly breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Gardai have confirmed a number of summons have been issued across the country to individuals who have failed to pay fines and that those cases are due to come before the courts next month.

All of the alleged breaches occurred over a month ago and it's not know if any of the defendants will contest the allegations when they come before the courts.

Separately, gardai are warning that they will mount additional checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.

They are advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home. People are reminded that the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise. 

The public should also be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations that not only can the driver be fined, but their adult passengers as well. This is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in such a group can be fined.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "Despite the significant challenges and sacrifices, the vast majority of people continue to comply with the public health advice. We thank them for that and ask them to keep it up. However, there also continues to be a minority who are putting themselves, their loved ones, their friends, and their neighbours at risk of getting Covid-19 by not adhering to the regulations."

Deputy Commissioner Twomey says people have to realise that Covid-19 doesn’t switch-off so that people can attend parties, or go on holidays, or gather in large groups.

"The message is clear and has been for some time – people should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands. Please stay safe and keep others safe by staying home.”

Meanwhile, gardai have confirmed that approximately 4,600 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations have been issued to date with 3,523 of them relating to non-essential travel.

People engaged in cross-border travel are being advised that from 7am on Monday, February 8, anyone not ordinarily resident in this State engaging in travel in this jurisdiction without a reasonable excuse may be liable to receive a fine of €100.

From Monday, if enforcement is required, gardaí will issue a €100 fine to every adult present who is in breach of this regulation. For example, if the driver of a car has two adult passengers then each of the three adults in the car will receive a €100 fine.

An Garda Síochána is also continuing to conduct checkpoints on access roads to airports and ports, as well as in departure areas, to check on whether people travelling to these locations are undertaking an essential journey. Travelling to an airport or port to take a holiday abroad is not an essential journey.

Since 29 January 2021, gardaí have issued approximately 375 fines at Dublin Airport to people for leaving the country for non-essential travel.

Gardaí have also intervened with house parties in Limerick and right across the country with in excess of 300 fines issued for either organising or attending a house party.

Over the last few days, gardai have also attended breaches of health regulations by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons amongst other business premises. In all instances, files will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

People issued with a Covid-19 related fine have 28 days to pay the fine.

An Garda Síochána says it has a process in place with the Courts Service where anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will receive a court date shortly afterwards.

At the moment, six people are due to appear before district courts for non-payment of a Covid-19 fine. The people have been summoned to appear before the court in Limerick, Dublin, Cork, Meath and Waterford.

An Garda Síochána has also to date issued 94 fines for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations with the vast majority of these – 70 – being in retail premises.

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