Gardaí detect 21 Covid-19 pub breaches in one week

Gardaí detect 21 Covid-19 pub breaches in one week

A generic stock photo of a Garda in Dublin.

GARDAÍ have detected 21 incidents of potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations and licencing laws in the week up to Sunday.

According to An Garda Síochana, thousands of checks were carried out on licenced premises across the country in that week.

The figures were released as plans for legislation to strengthen garda powers are being drawn up by the government.

A garda spokesman said: "From Monday, August 24 to Sunday, August 30, 21 potential breach incidents were found by Gardaí. Files will now be prepared for the DPP in each of these cases. 

"In all these cases, Gardaí found customers consuming alcohol, but no evidence of food also being consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold."

Gardaí said that the cumulative total of potential breach incidents since Operation Navigation began is now 185.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "The continued high level of compliance among licensed premises is very welcome. It is very disappointing that some licensed premises are continuing to put their employees, their customers and their local community at risk of getting Covid-19."

"Customers of such licensed premises also have a responsibility to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 to protect their family, friends and neighbours."

"It is vital that we individually and collectively follow the public health advice and adhere to the public health regulations to reduce the number of people getting COVID-19.” 

Minister Helen McEntee told the Today with Claire Byrne show on RTÉ Radio 1 that the new legislation will give gardaí additional powers of enforcement allowing them to close down pubs for up to a month if they are in breach of public health guidelines. 

This will be the case where a pub has breached legislation for a third time. In the event of a first breach, gardaí can close down the pub for the remainder of the day, while a second breach will result in a closure of up to three days being sought from the district court.

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