Superintendent Derek Hughes
Gardaí in Kilkenny are urging people to stay at home and from today can prosecute breaches of travel restrictions under Covid-19 Regulations by means of fixed charge notice.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020 in accordance with the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act, 2020 are currently in force. Regulation 4 states ‘an applicable person shall not leave his or her place of residence without reasonable excuse’. This is a penal regulation and is enforceable.
An Garda Síochána has been consistent in their graduated policing response to supporting Public Health Regulations and guidelines in line with our tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
From today, where breaches of the travel regulations are detected and a person does not comply with a direction of An Garda Síochána, a prosecution now can be commenced by means of a €100 Fixed Charge Notice. Where more appropriate, An Garda Síochána may seek a direction from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Speaking today Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Policing and Security said, "An Garda Síochána continues to see significant compliance by the public with Public Health Regulations, however we also continue to see some activity which is in contravention of these regulations introduced to stop the current spread of Covid-19 and protect our communities. I appeal to every person without a reasonable excuse for travel - Stay at Home, this is your duty as a citizen and will save lives and support our front line services, nurses, doctors, hospital staff and my Garda colleagues at this time.”
The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.
Checkpoints will continue in Kilkenny and people are asked to stay at home unless for essential reasons.
Superintendent Derek Hughes told the Kilkenny People as previously under Level 5 restrictions throughout the pandemic, An Garda Síochána in Kilkenny will be maximising its operational resources to deliver a highly visibile presence to provide public reassurance.
Under Operation Fanacht, checkpoints on main routes supported by a schedule of mobile checkpoints will be conducted on a daily basis with a focus on the guidelines on inter-county travel. Static checkpoints will also operate during level 5 restrictions. High visibility anti-crime patrols will take place in key city and urban locations to prevent opportunistic criminals targeting closed commercial and retail premises.
“There will also be patrols in relation to the night-time economy to ensure compliance with statutory regulations. On this, An Garda Síochána will be liaising closely with retail and licensed premises and checks on licensed premises under Operation Navigation will step back up. The Superintendent added that community engagement activity will continue to be focused on the vulnerable and those who feel isolated.
“We are here to help. Please contact your local Garda station in Kilkenny, Callan, Castlecomer, Freshford or Urlingford if you know of someone who needs our help”.
"We are also actively investigating reports of domestic abuse, as well as supporting victims under Operation Faoiseamh," he added.