Donegal Covid hotline to be stood down after just two weeks

In the first week of operation, 67 calls were received. In 60% of cases, no breach of Covid regulations were found.
Donegal Covid hotline to be stood down after just two weeks

Senior gardaí in Co Donegal are set to remove the Garda Covid hotline used for people to supply information over breaches of Covid regulations.

The controversial phone line established in Donegal to supply information over potential Covid-19 breaches is to be stood down.

Senior gardaí in Co Donegal are set to remove the Covid hotline used for people to supply information over breaches of Covid regulations.

The controversial telephone line at Letterkenny Garda station was set up almost two weeks ago when incidence rates of the virus spiked locally.

In the first week of the line, a total of 67 calls were received but 60% of these calls found no breaches of Covid regulations when investigated by gardai.

Inquiries are ongoing into a further 21 of these calls. Just two hoax calls were received.

Now it appears that the hotline is about to be put into cold storage.

A meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in the county heard how the phoneline could be wound up soon.

Local TD, Thomas Pringle had even referred to the dedicated telephone number as a "ratline" in the Dáil.

Garda representative, Superintendent Goretti Sheridan, admitted the telephone lines' days looked numbered.

She said: "The Covid line for the county is a temporary measure and it is being looked at by Chief Superintendent (Terry) McGinn.

"It's not going to be a long-term plan." 

I would imagine that it shouldn't be up and running too much longer.

"I know our numbers are coming down but they are certainly not as down as much they could be."

Her views were echoed by chief executive officer of Donegal County Council John McLaughlin who said: "I think it's positive to re-evaluate the need for that number and I think that's the right thing to do.

"The feedback from the group here is that now it's time that it's no longer needed and that will be picked up here."

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