A NUMBER of fines were issued at a burial in County Limerick on Wednesday confirmed gardai.
The funeral Mass took place on the northside of Cork city before the deceased was laid to rest in Kilcornan. It is understood that a large number of mourners travelled from Cork to Limerick.
Under level 5 restrictions, attendances at funerals are limited to 10 people.
Gardai confirmed that fines in respect of breaches of the 5km travel rule were issued in Cork and Limerick. Minister Niall Collins said he had received complaints from constituents regarding the large crowd and traffic chaos in Kilcornan.
Minister Collins said there seemed to be a lot of Northern Ireland and UK registered cars which "is in clear breach of the Covid regulations".
"Their flagrant breaches of the rules is insulting to every other family and community who have experienced bereavement during lockdown. Right across rural Limerick, people are abiding by the small funerals and other restrictions.
"People are paying their respects by standing at the end of their boreen or their roadway as the hearse goes by. It’s insulting for people to see and to hear of this," said Minister Collins, who also spoke of the garda resources and time used to deal with it.
One local said there was at least eight gardai on duty. "They closed the road and set up road checks," said the local.
Minister Collins said: "It is very difficult for the gardai to manage these types of situations."
A garda spokesperson said the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force.
"Regulation 8(2) provides certain restrictions on funerals. Regulation 8(2) is not a penal regulation. Regulation 4 provides a restriction on travel without a ‘reasonable excuse’ attending a funeral is listed as a ‘reasonable excuse’.
"Where gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.
"In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce," said the garda spokesperson.
They added that personal social responsibility - wearing of face coverings in open spaces and social distancing are public health guidelines and are not penal regulations.
"The Covid-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives," said the spokesperson.
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