04 Jul 2022

Three in court after violating Covid-19 restrictions in Kilkenny

Two from Carlow and one from Kildare to appear in court this morning


Nationally, Gardaí have responded to 405 Covid-19 related incidents since the measures began

Three people who were stopped by gardaí in Kilkenny yesterday are due in court this morning, and will be charged under the new Covid-19 legislation on restrictions on movement.

It's understood two of them are from Carlow, and one is from Kildare. The two men and one woman were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with €1,600 worth of cannabis and a quantity of cash found in their vehicle.

They are due to appear in Carlow District Court this morning, and are expected to be charged under Section 31A (6) (A) Health Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2020. They are also charged with possession of drugs for sale and supply.

Nationally, Gardaí have responded to 405 Covid-19 related incidents since the measures began, with a total of 34 arrests made for breach of the restrictions.

During this time, Gardaí have interacted with hundreds of thousands of people with the vast majority adhering to the public health guidelines.

In a statement, gardaí said they continue to report a high level of compliance with the public health guidelines at the many checkpoints and high visibility patrols it is conducting at tourist locations, natural beauty spots, and parks and beaches across the country.

In a small number of cases, despite receiving a number of warnings, some individuals did not adhere to the guidelines and the regulations were used under the Health Act 1947- Section 31A- Temporary Restrictions (Covid 19) Regulations 2020.

From 8 April, which was when the regulations came into effect, until 18 April 2020 inclusive, Gardaí have invoked the regulations 34 times. Of the 34 incidents, two were as a result of an instruction from a relevant medical professional as per the Act.

In addition, there were 405 Covid-19 related incidents that started as potential breaches of the regulations, but during the incidents other offences were disclosed. As such, long-standing legislation for offences such as public order, assault, road traffic, and drugs was used instead. This included incidents involving house/street parties, gatherings beyond the family unit, and non-essential travel.

Commissioner Drew Harris said: "An Garda Síochána’s role is to keep people safe through community engagement, particularly with the vulnerable, and our tradition of policing by consent.

"In that spirit, Gardaí are engaging with a large amount of people every day and in the vast majority of cases they are complying with the public health guidelines. It is vital this continues because it will help save lives. I want to thank the public for this and also the great support they are giving to our members every day.

"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,” added Commissioner Harris.

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