Gardaí issue almost 1,400 fines to people organising and attending house parties 

Over the last few days, gardaí also said they have attended numerous gatherings where people were in breach of public health regulations
Gardaí issue almost 1,400 fines to people organising and attending house parties 

Gardaí said gatherings such as these continue to pose a risk to the individuals involved and their families and loved ones. File Picture: Denis Minihane.

Gardaí have handed out over 1,386 fines to people found to have organised and attended house parties despite current level 5 restrictions.

New Garda figures show that 277 people have been hit with €500 fines for organising house parties, while 1,109 people have received €150 fines for attending. 

Over the last few days, gardaí also said they have attended numerous gatherings where people breached public health regulations. Most related to house parties, groups exercising, and other types of social meetings. 

Gardaí said gatherings such as these continue to pose a risk to the individuals involved and their families and loved ones. 

Citing recent surveys by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and others, gardaí also said that while most people feel they are following health guidelines as best they can, the level of casual contacts remains high, which is leading to continued virus transmission.

High-visibility patrols at public amenities, parks, and other areas where people tend to congregate will continue this weekend, as will spot checks at licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons, and other premises.

Anyone hit with a Covid-19-related fine has 28 days to pay. Failure to pay these fixed payment notices can result in a conviction for a first offence in the District Court, a fine of €1,000 and/or imprisonment.

Travel 

A Garda checkpoint at Dublin Airport. File picture: Brian Lawless

A Garda checkpoint at Dublin Airport. File picture: Brian Lawless

To date, gardaí said they have also issued 7,566 €100 fines for travel deemed non-essential. 

A total of 716 people have been given €500 fines for travel to the country's airports and ports.

Gardaí have said that that further checkpoints, in support of current restrictions, will also be established close to airports, ports, and other locations this weekend. 

The force have advised any members of the public intending to travel to plan their trip in advance. 

They have reiterated the fact that, if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations, any passengers in the car can be fined also. 

This also applies to adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking. 

Meanwhile, anyone visiting amenities within their 5km travel radius has been asked to park legally. 

Illegally parked cars may be towed or impounded and gardaí have said this could hinder site access by emergency services, putting lives at risk.

Gardaí have stressed that travel restrictions do not apply in the case of domestic violence or to escape the risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

Anyone who has been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime, irrespective of whether any public health regulations have been breached, has been urged to contact gardaí.

A breakdown of Covid-19 fines issued by gardaí. Picture: Garda Info

A breakdown of Covid-19 fines issued by gardaí. Picture: Garda Info

Face coverings

To date, 187 fines have been issued for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations.

The vast majority of these fines — 70 — have been issued in shops and supermarkets. 

Gardaí have reminded the public that the wearing of facemasks is still required in all retail premises.

Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey, said he was aware of the major sacrifices people have been making in order to comply with level 5 restrictions, and he thanked them for this. 

He asked that anyone who was planning to go out over the weekend to stay within their 5km, maintain social distancing, and practice hand hygiene. 

However, he said the best way of keeping safe this weekend was "to stay home".

"This is an individual and collective responsibility. Unfortunately, there appears to be some people who don’t believe it is their responsibility," he said. 

"Having such an attitude puts themselves, their loved ones, and anyone they come into contact with at risk of getting a virus that has killed more than 4,000 of our fellow citizens,” he added. 

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