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'We hope lessons have been learnt': Gardaí to continue pub inspections this weekend

Deputy commissioner John Twomey said the “vast majority” of licenced premises were found to be adhering to the rules last weekend.

Image: Shutterstock/Master1305

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA will continue with its pub inspection regime this weekend – dubbed Operation Navigation – to ensure the licenced premises that have re-opened are complying with public health guidelines.

So far, 26 premises have been found by the gardaí to have breached the health regulations or licencing laws even after providing them the chance to rectify the situation. 

Files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in these cases.

In a statement this evening, gardaí said that 2,785 individual licenced premises were found to be open last weekend. 

Alongside its efforts to inspect pubs, there’ll also be a “high visibility presence” of An Garda Síochána in towns and cities to “ensure the public are adhering to the public health guidelines.

Under Phase 3 of the government’s roadmap, pubs can now open if they serve “substantial meals” that cost at least €9 under guidance issued from Fáilte Ireland.

Pubs are also permitted to impose social distancing rules of just one metre rather than two metres, subject to other mitigation requirements. Patrons must also spend a maximum of 105 minutes in pubs. 

Gardaí said this weekend’s checks will be made under regulations from The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) which remain in effect until 20 July. 

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Deputy commissioner of policing and security John Twomey said: “Last weekend, Operation Navigation found that the vast majority of licensed premises were adhering to the public health regulations.

Unfortunately, 26 didn’t appear to be. By doing so, they are putting themselves, their employees, their customers and the wider community at risk of getting Covid-19. We would hope that lessons have been learnt and we see an even higher rate of compliance after this weekend.

“In addition, customers of licensed premises engaged in such practices also have to take personal responsibility. By using a premises that is not in compliance with the public health regulations and has not taken on-board the public health advice, those customers are also creating a risk to themselves, their family, their friends and the local community.”

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Sean Murray

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