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Gardaí board Dublin-Cork train to respond to passenger refusing to wear a mask

Gardaí boarded the Dublin-to-Cork train last night at Thurles, in response to the incident.

Thurles Train Station, where Gardaí boarded.
Thurles Train Station, where Gardaí boarded.
Image: Google Streetview

GARDAÍ HAVE ATTENDED an incident on a train to Cork where a member of the public refused to wear a face covering or mask.

On the 7pm Dublin-to-Cork train last night, Gardaí boarded the train at Thurles at 8.20pm, after being alerted to the incident by Irish Rail staff. 

Once Gardaí arrived the man put on a face covering, but was then arrested for an alternative offence.  

Rail Users Ireland said that “several trains have been delayed in recent days while Gardaí and Irish Rail staff deal with people not complying with the new legal requirements”.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, An Garda Síochána said that its members attended the scene of an incident on a train in Thurles at approximately 8.30pm yesterday.

“In this instance, following Gardaí attendance, a man complied with Public Health Regulations. This man was then later arrested for an alternative offence and detained at Templemore Garda Station,” it said.

Explaining the circumstances in which they were called to the scene, Gardaí said:

In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. 

“This has seen Garda members engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

In circumstances where a non-compliant passenger, without reasonable excuse, fails to accept the refusal or comply with a ‘relevant person’s’ request, members of An Garda Síochána may be called to assist. 

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“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 order to continue to save lives.”

Gardaí said that it would not be providing “ongoing comment” on potential breaches of the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Face Coverings on Public Transport) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on the 13 July.

These regulations have made it mandatory to wear face coverings while travelling on public transport – this includes buses, trains and the Luas.

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