Fines being handed out 'right left and centre': Gardaí concerned about Cork city house parties

Fines being handed out 'right left and centre': Gardaí concerned about Cork city house parties

One Garda source said that fines for breaches of public health Covid-19 restrictions by organising parties and for being outside their 5km limit are being “handed out right, left and centre”.

GARDAÍ in Cork are concerned that house parties are being held every weekend across the city.

During the weekend, several calls were received by gardaí about gatherings in houses in a number of areas.

In one incident, local residents contacted gardaí after a gathering at a house on the southside of the city during which some of those attending climbed onto the roof of an extension at the house.

One Garda source said that fines for breaches of public health Covid-19 restrictions by organising parties and for being outside their 5km limit are being “handed out right, left and centre”.

And he said that people carrying large amounts of alcohol are also being advised by gardaí against attending house gatherings.

Groups of young people are also gathering for bush drinking in the city and suburbs.

This morning, the chairman of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Colm Kelleher, will be raising anti-social behaviour issues in Ballincollig’s Regional Park with Cork City Council. He will be seeking measures to block off Miller’s Court in the Old Quarter area of the town from a walkway in the Regional Park.

On Saturday night, youths gathered in the Regional Park threw rocks and stones at houses and a vehicle in Miller’s Court
On Saturday night, youths gathered in the Regional Park threw rocks and stones at houses and a vehicle in Miller’s Court

On Saturday night, youths gathered in the Regional Park threw rocks and stones at houses and a vehicle in Miller’s Court.

Gardai are investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.

Cllr Kelleher said he will be requesting that mature shrubbery be planted in the area between the estate and a local walkway in the Regional Park.

He said the park is 300 acres in size, with numerous entrances, making it difficult to prevent people from congregating there.

However, Cllr Kelleher said there was no reason why young people should be congregating in the area late at night.

At present, under level 5 restrictions, no visitors are permitted in private homes or gardens except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.

Level 5 restrictions are set to remain in place until at least April 5.

€100 fines are in place for travelling beyond 5km, while the fine for attending an indoor gathering is €150. Organisation of a gathering can result in a €500 fine.

A garda spokesman said: "People issued with a COVID-19 related fine have 28 days to pay the fine. Anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will receive a Court date shortly after. It is a matter for the Court, but failure to pay the FPN can result in conviction for a first offence in the District Court in a fine of €1,000 and/or imprisonment. Courts are also open to reporting by local and national media."

During recent weekends, more than 100 fines have been handed out in Cork for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions. At the beginning of February, more than 200 fines were given out in one weekend in the city.

Last week, there were three arrests at a street party in Limerick, and up to 30 fixed payment notices for breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions were also issued. An investigation is now underway into who organised that event.

Last night, the Health Service Executive said that 525 new cases of Covid-19 were notified in the 24 hours up to midnight on Saturday night.

14 of those new cases were in Cork. In the two weeks to March 6, there have been 310 new cases in Cork.

The five-day moving average for Cork is now 21. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 57.1.

There were three new deaths reported nationally.

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