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Long tailbacks reported as Operation Fanacht gets underway

There will be fixed garda checkpoints at 132 roads across the country in the coming weeks.

Queues of traffic at a checkpoint on the M11 near Bray today.
Queues of traffic at a checkpoint on the M11 near Bray today.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

LONG TAILBACKS WERE reported in various locations around Ireland this morning as additional garda checkpoints were erected in a bid to enforce Level 3 Covid-19 travel restrictions.

There will be fixed garda checkpoints at 132 roads across the country under Operation Fanacht for at least the next three weeks.

In a statement a spokesperson said An Garda Síochána has “re-commenced Operation Fanacht as a nationwide policing operation focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures”.

They added: “People are being encouraged not to travel out of their county unless for essential reasons.”

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said gardaí will not have any new powers to restrict people’s movements.

“People will not be able to travel around the country. You will be restricted to your county, you should only go to your workplace if absolutely necessary, otherwise your journeys are going to be extremely difficult,” Harris said. 

Some tailbacks have eased but AA Roadwatch is reporting a queue of about 6km on the N7 westbound from J3 Citywest to J5 Athgoe in Dublin. Traffic also remains heavy westbound on the M4 between J5 Leixlip and J6 Celbridge in Kildare.

AA Roadwatch says it’s still heavy on a number of other routes including:

  • J15 Kilternan on the M50 southbound through to J5 Bray North on the M11, with delays exiting the motorway too at J5 and into Bray on the Dublin Rd (R761)
  • Southbound traffic on the N2 is still very slow from after Kilmoon Cross through to the Pillo R/A in Ashbourne in Meath
  • Te N52 heading from Kilbeggan towards Tullamore approaching the Ardan turn-off (R421)
  • It’s slow both ways on the N24 approaching works about halfway between Pallasgreen and Beary’s Cross

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Source: Rolling News Video/YouTube

AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan told the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk that a visible garda presence on roads can impact driver behaviour. 

However, he said he isn’t sure that checkpoints during morning rush hour is the best approach as it causes traffic congestion.

“I do believe gardaí can do this job for us without the need for draconian powers, they’ve done it before.

“I think as a general rule, we don’t want to give the gardaí draconian powers – and they don’t want to have them.”

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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