Gardai policing Covid-19 lockdown on #StPatricksDay make arrests

Appeal to public to avoid gatherings and house parties

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

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Covid-19 Garda checkpoint in Portlaoise

Gardaí continue to advise people to stay home to stay safe this St Patrick’s Day and avoid large gatherings and house parties after making some arrests.
 
Gardaí say they have observed 'overwhelming compliance' by the public in support of the current Public Health Regulations and Guidelines.
 
However, they say a significant policing operation is in place right across the country.
 
The guards say events organised on social media have transpired, but with limited numbers in attendance.
 
Following continued non-compliance with Public Health Regulations and failing to comply with directions, Gardaí say they have had to intervene on a number of occasions.
 
Up to 3pm today, the police arrested 16 persons (13 male, 3 female) associated with these events in the Dublin.
 
A statement said 10 persons have been charged and will appear before a sitting of Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice.
 
Garda operations in Dublin continued.
 
Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said:
 
"This has not been a normal St Patricks Day.  I acknowledge the huge level of compliance and social responsibility demonstrated today.
I appeal to the public to continue this effort into this evening, please do not engage in house gatherings or parties or congregate in public spaces and amenities," she said.
 
This evening, An Garda Síochána say they will will continue high visibility patrolling at public amenities, conducting checkpoints focused on non-essential travel and people exercising outside 5km of their home, road safety activity and large gatherings that may occur across the country.
 
"It is important that people enjoy the good weather and avail of fresh air.  Please do so in accordance with Public Health Regulations.  If a public amenity appears to be crowded please change your plans and revisit at a later time.
 
"When visiting public amenities within 5km of your home please park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As has been the case previously, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.
An Garda Síochána appeals to the public not to arrange or attend house parties or gatherings this evening.
 
"These events put not just those attending, but everyone they meet afterwards, at risk of catching COVID-19" said a statement.
 
Gardaí continues to remind domestic violence victims that travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.
 
They appeal to anybody who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been on breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party, that the force will assist and support. They urge people to please report all such incidents.
 
Gardaí say they have continued to use its 4Es approach – engage, explain, and encourage with enforcement a last resort.  

A statement said any Garda activity in relation to evolving events is in line with this graduated policing response taking into account public health regulations and advice.