Confusion among gardaí on how to enforce laws around alcohol amid Covid-19

94% of AGSI members say they have had difficulty enforcing coronavirus laws as restrictions have been eased.
Confusion among gardaí on how to enforce laws around alcohol amid Covid-19

Middle-ranking gardaí say they are confused about how to enforce laws surrounding alcohol at the moment.

They say they do not know whether they are supposed to enforce Covid-19 laws or liquor licensing legislation.

94% of AGSI members say they have had difficulty enforcing coronavirus laws as restrictions have been eased.

It comes amid scenes of large crowds drinking on the streets in Dublin at the weekend.

Sinn Féin's justice spokesman, Martin Kenny, says more clarity is needed.

"The gardaí are in a difficult position around all of this and we know that the new regulations say that if a substantial meal is served and all of that but it is very loose.

"It is difficult for anyone to understand it and it is certainly difficult when the gardaí are coming out and saying even they are confused about where they stand in regard to it.

"I think the department needs to give clearer instruction and make sure that people - particularly the law enforcement - know exactly where they stand."

AGSI General Secretary Antoinette Cunningham says gardaí inspecting pubs still do not know what their role is.

"Our members were confused when asked to inspect licenced premises - were they to inspecting it for breaches of liquor licencing laws or are they doing checks on the sanitation and social distancing being applied, the PPE equipment of staff etc.

"What we are seeing is that guidelines need clear instructions, members need to be trained in them and if they are being asked to police something that clear guidelines as to what is expected of them should be set out for them."

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