Taoiseach: Takeaway drink gatherings in Cork city centre 'undermine' Covid efforts 

Taoiseach: Takeaway drink gatherings in Cork city centre 'undermine' Covid efforts 

The Taoiseach said he will be contacting Minister for Justice Helen McEntee today as they seek to find better ways of curbing impromptu crowds gathering in public.

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin will speak with the Minister for Justice today in a bid to address problems associated with takeaway drinking.

Images emerged over the weekend on social media of large crowds gathered between South Mall and Grand Parade in Cork city on Saturday evening, despite strict Covid-19 guidelines on public gatherings.

Mr Martin told The Echo he was very concerned after seeing the pictures.

“It was disappointing to see the large crowds who had gathered. It is unacceptable.

“It endangers the efforts of all within society who are doing everything to adhere to our current restrictions. We are all working so hard to keep the level of cases down.

“It also undermines the efforts of our frontline workers and our hospitals.

“We need to reduce the number of cases in our hospitals and the number of ICU beds being used.”

The Taoiseach said he will be contacting Minister for Justice Helen McEntee today as they seek to find better ways of curbing impromptu crowds gathering in public.

“We will get a report from the gardaí following the events of last weekend. We will discuss in greater detail this new phenomenon of takeaway drink. We will review it accordingly.

“If it is leading to large congregations it will cause major harm going forward. Over the next 48 hours, we will review whether we will allow people to keep purchasing takeaway drink. ”

Mr Martin called on the general public to keep doing their best to ensure the nation can celebrate Christmas with reduced Covid-19 restrictions. “The next few weeks are crucial.

“We have to get the numbers down. What happened on Saturday night in Cork undermined that effort.

“The whole objective is to ensure we can have a good Christmas,” the Taoiseach added.

Gardaí were called to disperse large crowds of revellers who had gathered in various parts of Cork City on Saturday night.

Crowds were reported mingling on the Grand Parade, the Coal Quay, Patrick Street. Gardaí dealt with the large crowds in line with current Level 5 restrictions.

A garda spokesperson said: “We responded to reports of a large gathering of people on the South Mall. The crowds we encountered were asked to move on in compliance with the current Level 5 regulations. There were no breaches of regulations detected. The people we encountered were easy to deal with. They were asked to disperse and they did without any further incident. There were no further incidents arising from the crowds who had gathered. There were no arrests made,” said the garda spokesperson.

Lord Mayor Joe Kavanaghsaid: “If we continue to gather in large numbers, we will not win our battle against Covid-19. Unless we cop on, we will never get out of this.”
Lord Mayor Joe Kavanaghsaid: “If we continue to gather in large numbers, we will not win our battle against Covid-19. Unless we cop on, we will never get out of this.”

Lord Mayor of Cork Joe Kavanagh said he was disappointed.

“We all have a responsibility to observe the guidelines. If we don’t, we will stay in phase five. Gathering in large numbers is only providing a breeding ground for the spread of this virus.

“If we continue to gather in large numbers, we will not win our battle against Covid-19. Unless we cop on, we will never get out of this.”

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