Covid-19: A 'shebeen' with 30 people and 'wet' pubs operating secretly discovered by gardaí

Gardaí found such breaches in the last 24 hours across the country, including in Cork and Limerick
Covid-19: A 'shebeen' with 30 people and 'wet' pubs operating secretly discovered by gardaí

Gardaí executed a search warrant at a shebeen late on Friday night in Navan. Picture: Garda Twitter

The bulk of pubs and restaurants are continuing to comply with emergency Covid-19 regulations — but gardaí are finding 'wet' pubs open, gastro-pubs breaching food requirements and a ‘shebeen’ operating.

Gardaí said they found such breaches in the last 24 hours across the country, including in Cork and Limerick.

In a statement, Garda HQ said they will refer every breach to the director of public prosecutions to determine if charges should be brought or not.

“An Garda Síochána continue to work with licensed premises, carrying out inspections to ensure compliance with public health guidelines and regulations,” the statement said.

“The vast majority of premises continue to be compliant but An Garda Síochána continues to find premises in breach of regulations.” 

The statement added: “In the last 24-hours An Garda Síochána has detected a number of breaches of Covid-19 regulations by licensed premises, across the country (Limerick, Cork, Carlow, Meath).” 

A crowd of 30 people were discovered socialising, drinking alcohol and not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

A crowd of 30 people were discovered socialising, drinking alcohol and not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

It said these breaches included:

  •  ‘wet’ pubs opening for clandestine business (including: fresh pints; TV on; and fire lighting) 
  •  ‘gastro-pubs’ failing to comply with Covid-19 regulations and guidelines (no register in place; 12 tables occupied and no sign of food on any table; seven tables with two to four people at each within 2m of each other; no evidence of substantial meals; no face masks being worn by staff). 
  •  ‘shebeen’ premises (search carried out in suspected shebeen; 30 people socialising; crowd wore no face coverings; no social distancing; consuming intoxicating liquor). 

It said that in all cases where breaches of public health regulations have been identified the gardaí will submit files to the director of public prosecutions seeking advice as to how to proceed.

Gardaí appealed to the public to play their part: “In addition to potential criminal breaches by licensed premises owners, An Garda Síochána wants to remind every person of their social and personal responsibility not to frequent premises or engage in activity which is likely to contribute to the increasing spread of the Covid-19 virus.” 

The statement said: “The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and a real threat to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our society, the virus is still spreading, it is still leading to serious illness and death.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with public health guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives.”

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