Two men who travelled to Cork to find work cleaning gutters fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions 

Restrictions at the time limited people’s travel area to five kilometers from home.
Two men who travelled to Cork to find work cleaning gutters fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions 

40-year-old John O’Brien of 5 River Gardens, Abbeyfeale, Limerick, and 42-year-old Thomas O’Brien of 39 Collins Park, Abbeyfeale, appeared before Cork District Court. Picture: iStock

Two Limerick man trying to find work cleaning gutters of houses in Cork were convicted and fined for breaching Covid 19 restrictions which limited people’s travel area to five kilometers from home at the time.

The two men from Abbeyfeale were trying to get work in Cork when they came to the attention of gardaí in Cork.

40-year-old John O’Brien of 5 River Gardens, Abbeyfeale, Limerick, and 42-year-old Thomas O’Brien of 39 Collins Park, Abbeyfeale, appeared before Cork District Court.

They pleaded guilty to the same charge that on January 21 2021 at Parkway, Model Farm Road, Bishopstown, that they did without reasonable excuse leave their place of residence in contravention of Health Act temporary restrictions under Covid-19 regulations.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the regulations at that time required people to remain within 5km of their home. 

He said Thomas O’Brien had nine previous convictions while John O’Brien had 21 previous convictions.

Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said in respect of the two men being prosecuted, “They were a bit unfortunate. They were both on Jobseekers Allowance. They took a cut in their payment to allow them to do a bit of work. The job was cleaning gutters.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher asked, “Are you saying they were exempted?” 

The solicitor said the two Limerick men were told that the work they were trying to get in Cork was not deemed essential.

Mr Kelleher said, “They are back on Jobseekers Allowance now. They no longer do this work because of that episode.”

Judge Kelleher convicted and fined each man €250 at Cork District Court.

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