Motorists battle with traffic across Cork as garda checkpoints take effect 

There are reports of travel disruption in many areas and heavy traffic throughout the county
Motorists battle with traffic across Cork as garda checkpoints take effect 

Severe delays were reported leaving Cobh. Picture: Mike Bardsley/Cobh Edition

Motorists in Cork have experienced long delays this morning as a result of garda checkpoints introduced today under Operation Fanacht. 

There are reports of travel disruption in many areas and heavy traffic throughout the county.

In particular, the N25 at Midleton has been badly affected with traffic delayed heavily from Cobh.

According to AA roadwatch, traffic is very heavy on the N25 westbound from Midleton through to J3 Cobh Cross and also from the Fota side, with callers to RedFM describing it as "crazy".

Traffic is also heavy both ways on the N71 in Innishannon. Meanwhile, closer to the city, it is slow also on the N71 from The Viaduct through to the Bandon road.

Significant traffic delays were reported on the N25 in Cork. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
Significant traffic delays were reported on the N25 in Cork. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Delays are also reported on the N22 eastbound towards Ovens with heavy traffic reported. It is also slow approaching the Dunkettle Interchange on the M8 southbound.

One caller to Cork's Red FM, Maggie, said she left Youghal at around 7am heading for Cork city and she said it took her two hours to get to Middleton due to a checkpoint.

The Marymont worker said she would have to leave at 5.45am to get to work on time tomorrow.

Another caller, Peter, said the traffic was “crazy”.  He said gardaí were not asking where people were going.

Bernadette, who works in a special needs school, said she had students travelling by bus and that the delays would be “very distressing” for them.

A spokesperson for the gardaí confirmed the traffic disruption and delays were a result of Operation Fanacht. 

Gardaí said they continue to encourage people to only make essential journeys and to work from home. 

Gardaí highlighted that today is the first day of Level 5 restrictions and hoped the delays would not continue in the future as the public adjusted. 

School transport was singled out as a particular cause of delay. 

"I suppose people have been dropping kids to school and things like that which has made it busy this morning but it's the first morning of it, so you would things would ease off. But there's delays everywhere," a spokesperson said. 

Sgt James O’Donovan of Clonakilty Garda Station addressed the delays and Operation Fanacht on C103.

He told Patricia Messinger on the Cork Today Show that the volume of traffic coming up the checkpoints has been very busy.

“We are aware that people are going to find the next couple of weeks very difficult.

“And we’re just asking them to comply with the guidelines as issued by the HSE and our government and to remain within their 5k unless they have to have to travel for essential travel.

He asked people to plan their journey as there “is going to be delays at these static checkpoints across the division and city and county and nationally”.

Sgt O’Donovan said: “But also there is going to be roaming checkpoints set up randomly around each district, so there will be checkpoints and inspections to ensure that people are complying” with the restrictions.

He added that they have to target the majority of the day time when people are travelling to ensure people are travelling within the regulations.

Gardaí have been implementing checkpoints across the country in an attempt to minimise travel as part of Operation Fanacht in support of the government's attempts to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

Last week, gardaí said typical traffic levels have fallen by an average of 15% on national roads following the start of the Operation.

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