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Gardaí find 21 new potential breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in pubs

The total number of breaches in pubs now stands at 185.

Image: Shutterstock/somsak nitimongkolchai

GARDAÍ FOUND 21 potential breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in pubs last week, citing the consumption of alcohol without food as the primary issue.

The gardaí identified the 21 potential breach incidents between 24 August and 30 August, bringing the total of potential breaches to 185.

In all of the cases, gardaí found customers consuming alcohol without evidence of food also being consumed or a receipt that would indicate food had been sold.

Gardaí will prepare files for the Director of Public Prosecutions in each of the cases.

The breaches were found under Operation Navigation, which began in July to conduct checks on licensed premises.

Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security John Twomey said that the “continued high level of compliance among licensed premises is very welcome” but that it was “disappointing that some licensed premises are continuing to put their employees, their customers and their local community at risk of getting Covid-19″.

“Customers of such licensed premises also have a responsibility to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 to protect their family, friends and neighbours,” Twomey said.

“It is vital that we individually and collectively follow the public health advice and adhere to the public health regulations to reduce the number of people getting Covid-19,” he said.

The cumulative total, which now stands at 185, was only increased by 20 as an older incident was re-classified as not a potential breach.

The gardaí have so far conducted checks on thousands of licensed premises.

On Friday, Cabinet approved new enforcement powers for the gardaí that will allow for pub closures following a breach in restrictions.

Gardaí can issue a compliance notice to pub owners to ask them to address an issue, and then issue an immediate closure to shut the pub for a day if the pub owner does not address the problem.

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The pub owner could also face a fine up to €2,500 or six months in prison, and gardaí can apply to the District Court for an Emergency Closure Order that would shut the pub for up to 30 days.

Over the weekend, gardaí carried out 118 checkpoints in Kildare and surrounding areas as part of restrictions on movement in Kildare.

Sixty-five of the checkpoints were in Kildare, and 53 were in surrounding divisions in Meath, Laois/Offaly, Kilkenny/Carlow and Wicklow.

The restrictions on movement in Kildare were lifted with immediate effect on Monday.

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