Pubs may face prosecution for breaches of Covid regulations

Gardai carried out almost 7,000 checks on licensed premises last weekend

Gardai carried out almost 7,000 checks on licensed premises last weekend

FILES are to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions after potential breaches of the Covid-19 public health regulations were identified at 26 pubs across the country.

Gardai have confirmed that between 7pm on Friday, July 3 and midnight on Sunday, July 5, 6,830 checks were conducted on licensed premises in Limerick and throughout the country under Operation Navigation.

In a statement this Thursday, gardai they will not be providing a geographical breakdown of where checks were carried out and will not comment on any individual premises.

Of the 2,785 individual licensed premises which are currently open for business across the country, the vast majority were found to be in compliance with public health regulations and the licensing laws.

But in a small number of cases, gardaí found potential breaches of the health regulations or licensing laws even after providing the premises with the opportunity to rectify the situation. 

"In many of these cases, gardaí found customers consuming alcohol, but no evidence of food also being consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold. Gardaí also observed a lack of adherence to public health advice such as allowing large groups at the one table, little to no social distancing, no advisory signage, and no Covid-19 contact tracing being recorded," said a spokesperson.

Where potential breaches of the Public Health Regulations are identified, and where a person does not come into compliance with the regulations, a file is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a direction as to how to proceed.

"The significant number of visits conducted by gardaí found a large level of compliance among licensed premises. This is very welcome. However, we remain concerned that a minority are potentially operating in breach of the regulations. In doing so, they are putting the health of their customers and staff and everyone they come into contact with after at risk of getting Covid-19," said Deputy Commissioner John Twomey.

"We are sending a clear message to such premises that we will be opposing their liquor license renewal applications in September unless they come into compliance. In addition, the public has shown great restraint and responsibility to date in adhering to the public health guidelines. The reality is that Covid-19 is still here. We all have an individual responsibility to ensure we continue to play our part in reducing the spread of Covid-19 to protect our family, friends and neighbours,” he added.

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