Gardai warn of more Covid fines

Gardai have warned of high visibility patrols over the weekend to implement Covid travel regulations which have seen thousands of people being issued with fines, including attendants at house parties and people travelling to airports.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 5:26 pm

To date, An Garda Síochána has warned:

- Over 3,500 fines issued to date to people attending or organising house parties

- Such gatherings put at risk not only those attending, but everyone they come into contact with after including loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and local community

Garda patrol on the border. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

- Gardaí continuing high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend

- Illegal parking at such locations can result in cars being towed and impounded

- All adults in a car found to be undertaking a non-essential journey may be liable for a €100 fine each

An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 20,280 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches.

As of close of business on April 15, 2021 the following number of fines had been recorded:

- 14,650 €100 fines for non-essential travel

- 1,186 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports – the total number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports is 1,561

- 718 €500 fines for organising a house party and 2,855 €150 fines for attending a house party

- 341 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering

- 407 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

A spokesperson said: “Please note that due to the requirement to make technical changes to the Garda system following the recent introduction of new regulations the figures released today do not take account of fines issued since Monday, April 12 2021. In other words, they are not a full week of figures and so are not comparable to last week’s figures. Once processing resumes, we will provide updated week-on-week figures.

“An Garda Síochána continues to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, exercise etc.) in breach of regulations.

“These are not just breaches of regulations, but are a risk to the individuals involved, their families and loved ones, and continue to put everybody’s health and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at risk.”

An Garda Síochána will be continuing nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.

The spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána is again advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take account of the new limitations on non-essential travel i.e. travel within your county or 20km from your home.

“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.

“When visiting amenities within the travel limit please park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As we saw during previous weekends, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.

“In enforcing these regulations, Gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

An Garda Síochána continues to remind persons subject to domestic violence - Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been on breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party, An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you, please report all such incidents.”

And Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said, “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the vast majority of people many of the key COVID-19 indicators are starting to improve. All of us in An Garda Síochána appreciate this.

“It is important now that we continue to do the right things. We need to maintain social distancing, limit our contacts, and regularly wash our hands.

“Please do not gather in large groups or attend or host house parties. Being at such gatherings puts you, your loved ones and everyone you have contact with after at risking of catching COVID-19.”

Further data on COVID-19 fines include age, gender, and divisional breakdown is available on www.Garda.ie.