A garda checkpoint near Portarlington during the 2021 Level 5 restrictions
Gardaí in Laois and Offaly have issued the second-highest number of fines for Covid-19 breeches in the Garda Eastern Region, according to the latest figures.
The Garda Eastern Region excludes Dublin but takes some other Leinster counties and one Munster county. Latest figures on Covid-19 from Garda HQ shows that 261 Fixed Charge Penalty Notices have been issued by guards in Laois and Offaly since they were given powers sanction people breaking laws to control the virus.
There were 72 fines issued in the pas week alone.
A total of 1,699 fines have been issued in Leinster. Gardaí in Laois Offaly are second behind their colleagues in Wicklow who have fined 395 people.
Gardaí in Kildare, which is now linked to Laois Offaly, issued 170 while the Carlow Kilkenny Division issued 163 fines. There have been 187 penalties in Meath with just 106 issued in Westmeath. Wexford gardaí issued 212 fines. The Waterford division has issued 205 fines.
Gardaí in the Southern region (most of Munster) has the highest number of fines at 2,530. A total of 1,925 penalties have been handed out in the six Dublin Metropolitan districts.
An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 7,950 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches up to February 18.
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As of the close of business February 18 2021, the following number of fines had been issued:
- 6,297 €100 fines for non-essential travel
- 263 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports – the total
number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports is 638
- 197 €500 fines for organising a house party
- 747 €150 fines for attending a house party
- 155 €80 fines for not wearing a face covering
Gardaí say fines for non-essential cross-border travel came into operation on Monday morning, February 8 2021. Traffic data over last weekend showed approximately a 23% decrease in cross border travel compared to previous weekends.
Gardaí say they continue to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, exercise etc….) in breach of Regulations. The guards say these are not just breaches of regulations but are a risk to the individuals involved, their families and loved ones, and continue to put everybody’s health and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at risk. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of people believe that they are doing the right thing, but the reality is that the level of casual contacts remains high.
Gardaí say they will be continuing nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.
In enforcing these regulations, Gardaí say they have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.
They continues to appeal to the public to plan their activities in accordance with Regulations and guidelines which say that people must still to stay at home and reduce your contacts, only exercise within 5km of your home.
The Gardaí reminded people subject to domestic violence that ravel restrictions DO NOT APPLY if they need to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.
Gardaí continue to appeal to any person 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, An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you, please report all such incidents.
Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said:
"This week the tragic milestone of 4,000 COVID-19 deaths was reached. That is 4,000 people that were loved. That is 4,000 people that had family, friends and neighbours. That is 4,000 of our fellow citizens.
"While the vast majority of people are heeding the advice, there are still some who are not complying with public health regulations. In doing so, they are putting themselves, those they love, and those they know at risk of catching of a virus that could, unfortunately, result in serious illness or death.
"We all have an individual and collective responsibility to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please stay home, reduce your contacts, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands.”