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26 Jun 2022

Derry courting couple breach covid restrictions at Donegal heritage site

Defendant ordered to pay €150 to charity

Derry courting couple breach covid restrictions at Donegal heritage site

Derry courting couple breach covid restrictions at Donegal heritage site

A courting couple were caught in the middle of a romantic rendezvous at an ancient Donegal heritage site while level 5 Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Gardaí arrived at the Grianán of Aileach ringfort at 2.30am on February 27, 2021.

Jamie McLaughlin, a 27-year-old from The Meadows, Derry, told Gardaí that he was ‘out for a walk’ with a female friend when questioned at the ancient hilltop fort. 

Solicitor for McLaughlin, Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn, said his client was unaware of the level of Covid-19 restrictions that were in place in the Republic of Ireland.

“That night, he drove to An Grianán fort and it was more than a walk involved,” Mr Mac Lochlainn told Buncrana District Court.

“They were surprised when Gardaí arrived when they were in the position they were in.”

Mr Mac Lochlainn said his client, a chef, is a 27-year-old father-of-one. McLaughlin was before the court for breaching the Covid-19 restrictions.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham asked that McLaughlin make a €150 donation to the Buncrana branch of St Vincent de Paul.

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