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Debunked: No, you will not receive a €1,000 reward from Gardaí for reporting house parties

A poster in Dublin claims that Gardaí will reward members of the public if they report house parties.

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A PHOTOGRAPH SHARED on Twitter in recent days purports to show a campaign by An Garda Síochána encouraging people to report house parties in Ireland, and receive a €1,000 reward.

The poster reads: “Stop the spread of Covid-19, Save Lives, REPORT HOUSE PARTIES, Free Phone 1 800 666 333, €1,000 reward, A message from An Garda.”

This poster was erected in Phibsborough along Dublin’s Royal Canal in recent weeks and comes after months of public health concerns around house parties due to Covid-19. 

In recent months, Gardaí did break up a number of house parties around Ireland in order to reduce community transmission of Covid-19. 

Eeww4QKXsAEb6-1 (2) Source: Stephen Bourke/Twitter.com

This recent poster, however, is fake.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said: “This is not an official campaign by An Garda Síochána” while the number advertised on the poster is not recognised. 

In recent weeks, as cases have risen, NPHET has once more warned the public against socialising with people from numerous households in close quarters. 

On 1 August, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn urged the public to make sure gatherings are kept to a minimum and that people invite no more than 10 others into their home.

“Do not organise or attend house parties,” he said. 

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There is a lot of false news and scaremongering being spread in Ireland at the moment about coronavirus. Here are some practical ways for you to assess whether the messages that you’re seeing – especially on WhatsApp – are true or not. 

STOP, THINK AND CHECK 

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Look at where it’s coming from. Is it someone you know? Do they have a source for the information (e.g. the HSE website) or are they just saying that the information comes from someone they know? A lot of the false news being spread right now is from people claiming that messages from ‘a friend’ of theirs. Have a look yourself – do a quick Google search and see if the information is being reported elsewhere. 

Secondly, get the whole story, not just a headline. A lot of these messages have got vague information (“all the doctors at this hospital are panicking”) and don’t mention specific details. This is often – but not always a sign – that it may not be accurate. 

Finally, see how you feel after reading it. A lot of these false messages are designed to make people feel panicked. They’re deliberately manipulating your feelings to make you more likely to share it. If you feel panicked after reading something, check it out and see if it really is true.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie

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