Man breached Covid-19 restrictions three times in one day; Regulations invoked 139 times

Gardaí have used the Covid-19 enforcement powers 139 times since they were introduced.
Man breached Covid-19 restrictions three times in one day;  Regulations invoked 139 times

- With additional reporting from Digital Desk Staff

Gardaí arrested a man after encountering him breaching Covid-19 travel restrictions on three occasions on the same day over the weekend.

The man was arrested when trying to enter a house party in the south of the country, having encountered Gardaí earlier in the day while walking with people from different households and, later on the same day, walking in a different part of the same town.

He was directed home on all occasions but was arrested after he refused to leave the house party. A file is being prepared for the DPP.

This was just one of the incidents reported by Gardaí, who said there was a high rate of compliance with the restrictions.

At a Covid-19 checkpoint in Dublin, Gardaí stopped a man on his way to do a painting job in Co Meath.

He told Gardaí he "didn’t care about the restrictions" as the virus hadn’t affected him and he "would not be adhering to restrictions from a non-elected government".

He ignored a garda direction to return home and a file has been submitted to the DPP.

Gardaí have invoked regulations on 139 occasions, including arrests and cases where personal details have been taken for consultation with the DPP on the decision to issue charges, while pre-existing enforcement powers were also used in relation to 1,172 incidents since April 8. These include drugs and weapons seizures, drink driving offences and public order incidents.

Over the May bank holiday weekend, a small number of vehicles — just 0.16% of those encountered by gardaí — were asked to turn back due to their journeys not being essential.

Gardaí continue to face coughing and spitting attacks, according to Commissioner Drew Harris.

From Apr 8 to May 2, there were 52 incidents of spitting and/or coughing against gardaí. Last week, this figure was reported as 31, indicating that another 21 incidents happened over the weekend.

Anti-spit guards, the controversial but legal 'hoods' which can be placed over assailants to protect gardaí from being coughed or spat at, have been used 28 times since Apr 8.

Commissioner Harris said: "These are a significant health and safety risk to our members in the current environment. We must protect them from such disgraceful attacks.

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