Gardaí issue Easter warning as 705 Covid breach fines issued in Donegal

Vast majority of public continue to support Public Health Guidelines

Garda issue Easter warning as 705 Covid breach fines issued in Donegal

Gardaí will be out in force this Easter weekend

To date, An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 18,125 Covid-19 fines across the range of all Covid-19 breaches with 705 of these in Donegal.

As of close of business yesterday (March 31), the gardaí have revealed that following number of fines had been issued:

- 13,036 €100 fines for non-essential travel
- 686 €500 fines for organising a house party and 2,383 €150 fines for attending a house party
- 976 €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 in excess of 1,300
- 315 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering
- 339 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

Further data on Covid-19 fines include age, gender, and divisional breakdown is available on www.Garda.ie

Of the 18,125 fines issued (4,452 in January, 7,036 in February and 6,614 in March), the number of fines being issued continues to represent a small percentage of the population.

An Garda Síochána say it continues a ‘pilot implementation’ on home quarantine checks in six garda divisions. Passenger location data is supplied to An Garda Síochána approximately six days after the individual arrives into the State. Checks are scheduled in cases where the data passes preliminary validation by An Garda Síochána.

Up to and including March 31, An Garda Síochána has carried out 1,046 checks on people quarantining at home.

Over this Easter period An Garda Síochána will continue

- high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend
- Checkpoints across the road network
- Respond to reports of events/ gatherings/ parties

In enforcing these regulations, gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

While the vast majority of gardaí will be focused on engaging with the public, national units in areas such as crime detection, armed support, national security, and organised crime, as well as divisional drug units, will continue to prevent and detect crime.

An Garda Síochána continues to remind persons subject to domestic violence - 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.

If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and we ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect.

If you are unable to make phone contact please approach any member of An Garda Síochána on duty, on patrol, on a checkpoint and look for assistance, they are there to help.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said An Garda Síochána acknowledges the impact Covid-19 restrictions are having on people, but the restrictions are keeping people safe and reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

Covid related fines for the Garda North West Region including Donegal

"Despite constant public health advice, people are still attending house parties and other social gatherings. Going to such gatherings puts you, your loved ones, and everyone else you come into contact with subsequently, at risk of exposure to Covid-19. Attending such gatherings are a breach of the Health Regulations.

"The best way of keeping safe this Easter weekend is to stay home. If you are going out to exercise, please stay within your 5km limit," she said.

Points to note

The total number of fines issued, 18,125 as of close of business yesterday, (March 31), is made up of 17,735 fines that have been processed and approximately 390 that are currently being checked and processed.

The number of fines issued per division will vary depending on a number of factors including population size, the geographic area covered, local economy, travel patterns, and the public amenities in a particular division.

A person who receives a fine can request an appeal. A Covid-19 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) Cancellation Request Form and guidance notes are available on Garda.ie

People issued with a Covid-19 related fine have 28 days to pay the fine.

Anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will receive a Court date shortly after. It is a matter for the Court, but failure to pay the FPN can result in conviction for a first offence in the District Court in a fine of €1,000 and/or imprisonment. Courts are also open to reporting by local and national media.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

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