Gardaí called to assist Irish Rail after an incident on the Dublin to Cork train

Gardaí called to assist Irish Rail after an incident on the Dublin to Cork train
Gardaí boarded and removed a male who refused to wear a face covering on the Dublin to Cork train last night. Picture credit: Joe Seward Twitter

Irish Rail required the assistance of the Gardaí last night after a passenger onboard a train travelling from Dublin to Cork failed to comply with the new face covering legislation. 

It is believed that the man was asked on several occasions to put on a face covering by Irish Rail staff, but continuously refused.

When the train stopped at Thurles at approximately 8:30pm, Gardaí were deployed to assist Irish Rail.

Gardaí say the passenger complied with Public Health Regulations following their attendance, however, he was arrested for an alternative offence and detained at Templemore Garda Station.

In a statement, Gardaí said that they will continue to adopt a "graduated policing response" with regards to the new regulations.

"In circumstances where a non-compliant passenger, without reasonable excuse, fails to accept the refusal or comply with a 'relevant person’s' request, members of An Garda Síochána may be called to assist.

"In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. 

"This has seen Garda members engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

"Gardaí attended the scene of an incident on a train in Thurles at approximately 8:30pm on Thursday, 16th July 2020. 

"In this instance, following Gardaí attendance, a man complied with Public Health Regulations.

"This man was then later arrested for an alternative offence and detained at Templemore Garda Station," they said.

"The Covid-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives," Gardaí continued. 

In a statement regarding the matter, a spokesperson for Irish Rail said:

"The 19:00hrs Heuston Cork service arrived at Thurles at 20:30hrs.

"Gardaí boarded and removed a male who refused to wear a face covering."

Regulations to enforce the compulsory wearing of face coverings on public transport came into effect on Monday.

Under the new rules, Gardaí can be called to enforce if someone fails to wear a face covering.

Those flouting the rules could face fines up to €2,500 or six months imprisonment.

On Wednesday Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that face masks should be worn in in shops and shopping centres across the country, in an attempt to control the spread of Covid-19.

Regulations, with details on enforcement and penalties, are in the process of being drafted.

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