Cork Garda says members lacking guidance on face mask enforcement

Cork Garda says members lacking guidance on face mask enforcement
Members of the public, some wearing face masks, walking along Opera Lane in Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.

GARDAÍ have not received any guidance regarding the wearing of masks in retail outlets.

That is according to the acting president of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Cork-based Pat Meany.

Inspector Meany told The Echo: "The easing of Covid-19 restrictions is proving challenging for AGSI members as it is becoming more difficult to police these regulations. 

"We were left without adequate guidance and training and relied on the media to ask questions about how Gardaí would police Covid-19 regulations. 

"The initial guidance for policing experienced an unacceptable delay. The lessons learned in this regard must result in a combined response from the Department of Justice and Garda management to provide operational guidelines and appropriate training along with legislative changes.” 

He continued: "As regards the wearing of face coverings on public transport, our guidance is that enforcement lies in the first instance with transport officials. Members of An Garda Síochána will assist where necessary but we are not the primary enforcers. As regards the wearing of masks in retail outlets we have not received any guidance to date."

He said the association is concerned about recruitment into the garda force, saying that recruitment "is at a slower pace than previous years."

He concluded: "The programme for Government commits to continue recruitment to An Garda Síochána, promote more community policing, relieve gardaí from non-core duties and encourage more diversity within the force. So AGSI will be monitoring the progress on these commitments."

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