An Gardaí Síochána have reported that 34 arrests have been made between the dates of April 8th and April 18th in relation to temporary regulations that have been put in place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Gardaí say that, despite receiving a number of warnings, some individuals did not adhere to the new guidelines and the regulations were invoked.
In support of COVID-19 public health guidelines, the Irish police force has adopted a graduated policing response which has seen its members engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce the regulation.
A high level of compliance has been evident over the last number of weeks, after strict public health guidelines were issued by the government, with a high number of Gardaí patrolling at tourist areas, natural beauty spots, parks and beaches across the country.
It is reported that two of the reported 34 incidents were as a result of an instruction from a relevant medical professional. In all cases arrests were made and the decision of the charge was made after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Gardaí Síochána have also reported 405 COVID-19 related incidents that started as potential breaches of regulation but during the incidents other offences were disclosed. This included incidents involving house/street parties, gatherings beyond the family unit, and non-essential travel.
Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, commented on the recent figures, saying: “An Garda Síochána’s role is to keep people safe through community engagement, particularly with the vulnerable, and our tradition of policing by consent.”
“Unfortunately, there are people who did not adhere to the guidelines and Gardaí had no option but to use the regulations or other legislation. It should be stressed though that this is a tiny proportion of the people we have engaged with over this time.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and to recognise the sacrifices that people adhering to the guidelines are making in playing their part in protecting others.”
“It is for those reasons that there is a collective and individual responsibility to maintain compliance with the public health guidelines,” concluded Commissioner Harris.