Garda warning about St Patrick's Day Covid-19 banned house parties and travel

Gardaí also urge everybody to stay home and comply with 5 km travel restrictions

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

st patrick's day covid-19 garda

Gardaí will be mounting extensive checkpoints on St Patrck's Day

Gardaí are advising people to stay home to stay safe this St Patrick’s Day and avoid large gatherings and house parties.

Garda HQ says that on St Patrick’s Day, at any one time, more than 2,500 Gardaí will be on duty across the country. They say they will be engaged in a wide range of activity to support public health measures.

Gardaí say they are also preparing for anti-lockdown protests. READ MORE HERE.

The police add that Garda activity on St Patrick's Day will be in line with this graduated policing response taking into account public health regulations and advice.

Gardaí say they continue to find and fine people gathering in large groups at social occasions and at house parties. Gardaí say such events put those attending, and everyone they meet afterwards, at risk of catching COVID-19. 

To date, over 2,100 fines issued to date for organising or attending a house party. As of March 12 2021, An Garda Síochána had issued 429 €500 fines for organising a house party and 1,677 €150 fines for attending a house party.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said: "While it won’t be a normal St Patrick’s Day, we can still all enjoy the day safely at home.

"Staying home this St Patrick’s Day is the best thing people can do for their country and the best thing they can do for the people they know and love.”

The Gardaí repeated their advice to the public to take into account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home. In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.

The urged people that when visiting amenities within 5km of their home please park legally. Gardaí said illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. The warned that people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.

Gardaí also warned that drivers and their adult passengers found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations can be fined They say this is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in such a group can be fined.

Gardaí concluded by saying they continue to remind people subject to domestic violence that travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

The statement said that the Gardaí say they are available to help anybody who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been in breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party.

Garda activities on St Patrick's Day include:

  • high visibility patrolling at public amenities;
  • conducting checkpoints focused on non-essential travel and people exercising outside 5km of their home;
    road safety activity;
  • managing any large gatherings that may occur, and providing support for the vulnerable including victims of domestic abuse.

Garda say they will continue to use its 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort which they insists has been the case during the pandemic in engagements with the public.