GARDAÍ in West Cork say a feared surge of visitors to holiday homes over the Bank Holiday weekend was managed successfully, with just "a few chancers" flouting the travel restrictions.
There were no arrests or fines issued for ignoring covid-19 restrictions in West Cork, Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan confirmed.
However, gardaí and Cork County Council did prevent a planned bonfire at Garrettstown beach.
“You get the odd one, chancing his arm, but most of the public observed the mandatory guidelines and followed the restrictions," Chief Supt Cadogan said.
One checkpoint did interrupt a 74-year-old heading off to do her shopping, but the incident was handled with good humour by Gardaí who asked the woman to return home and cocoon.
Despite that high level of compliance overall, gardaí did nab two drink drivers, one in Rosscarbery and the other in Dunmanway, who were both well over the legal limit.
“They were either drinking at home or at a house party, we are still establishing that,” the Chief Superintendent said.
A large bonfire was also prepared to be lit on Garrettstown beach but was discovered and dismantled by Gardai and Cork County Council workers over the weekend.
A small truckload of wood was hidden behind a sand dune but was removed by the council before it could be set alight.
Chief Supt Cadogan said there were no reports of visitors from the UK taking up residence in holiday homes over the weekend, but a number of holiday homes have been in use for the past two to three weeks by people cocooning.
“We have a number of residents in their 70s that have been here for the past two to three weeks and they are cocooning here.
"We have a few others visiting as well and they are abiding by the regulations.”
Chief Supt Cadogan said, all in all, there is a great sense of community spirit in the West and most people seem to appreciate the hard work of the Gardai in keeping everyone safe and the seriousness of the situation.