Gardaí issued their first immediate closure order on a pub under the coronavirus regulations at the weekend.
An Garda Síochána said they carried out thousands of inspections of licensed premised from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th December inclusive and that while the vast majority of premises continue to be compliant, they continued to find premises in breach of regulations.
Gardaí in the North West Region issued the first ‘Immediate Closure Order’ under section 4 Criminal Justice (Enforcement Powers) (Covid-19) Act, 2020 to a licensed premises.
A garda spokesperson said that despite repeated engagement by local gardaí with the licensee, gardaí continued to observe breaches of Covid-19 regulations including persistent non-compliance with requirement to serve substantial meal, in addition to non-adherence to public health guidelines, resulting in the local Superintendent issuing an ‘Immediate Closure Order’ on the premises for the remainder of that date.
A further file will be prepared for consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Breaches of Covid-19 regulations by licensed premises were identified at a number of other locations across the country.
Gardaí detailed how at an inspection of a licenced premises in the Southern Region there were 30 people present, seated inside the premises with full drinks and no food.
Speaking today Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey, said: "The vast majority of licensed premises are operating in compliance with public health regulations. Unfortunately, despite this being said by An Garda Síochána numerous times before, disappointingly it appears it must be said again to some licensed premises – Licensed premises that are not adhering to public health regulations are not only committing an offence, but putting at risk the health of their staff, their customers, and their local community."