Gardaí Make 34 Arrests For Breaches Of Covid-19 Restrictions

Garda Covid Checkpoint

While Gardaí report a high level of compliance with public health guidelines at checkpoints and high visibility patrols, some individuals did not adhere to the guidelines and the regulations.

From April 8th when the regulations came into effect, until 18th April inclusive, Gardaí invoked regulations 34 times. Two of those were as a result of an instruction from a relevant medical professional.

Some incidents are already before the Courts. There’s been over 400 other offences recorded that came to the attention of Gardaí at check-points or at house parties.

In fact 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.