GARDAÍ have begun a nationwide operation to check pubs to ensure they're following public health guidelines.
It follows concerns from Garda management, the public and industry representative bodies that some licensed premises and their customers have not been adhering to the Covid-19 public health guidelines since the re-opening of pubs on Monday.
Operation Navigation got underway at 7pm this evening.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "When licenced premises were initially shut under the public health guidelines An Garda Síochána checked thousands of licensed premises to ensure they remained closed, which the vast, vast majority did.
"Our intention in this latest phase was to conduct a large number of spot-checks of licensed premises.
"However, it now appears that just a few days after their introduction some licensed premises and their customers are ignoring the public health guidelines.
"By doing so, they are putting themselves and everyone they then come into contact with at risk of getting COVID-19.
"This is not acceptable and we are now expanding our planned checks.”
An Garda Síochána has given an operational order to all local Garda managers that licensed premises in their area operating at the moment are to be checked for adherence to The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020.
Where potential breaches of the Public Health Regulations are identified, and where a person does not come into compliance with the regulations, a file is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a direction as to how to proceed.
In addition, under liquor licensing laws, a licensed premises requires a declaration of suitability from a member of An Garda Síochána in order for its liquor license to be renewed.