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Minister for Justice Helen McEntee was asked about scenes in Galway. RollingNews.ie
Galway

Gardaí don't need extra resources to cope with house parties, says justice minister

Helen McEntee was speaking following scenes of large gatherings in Galway.

GARDAÍ DON’T NEED extra resources to cope with house parties, the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said. 

McEntee said that she spoke to the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris about the issue last night. 

“I asked the question last night of the commissioner: Do you need more powers? The very clear answer was no.”

She also rejected suggestions that the army should be deployed to help police gatherings on streets and in homes. 

Gardaí, she said, were not stretched and were able to effectively stop gatherings and explain what the current Covid-19 rules are.

Photos and videos shared earlier this week showed a large number of people near the Spanish Arch in Galway, with groups also shown on Shop Street. The gatherings come following the return to college of thousands of students. 

The images have sparked concern from the local council and NUI Galway. 

McEntee said that the gatherings weren’t “acceptable”, but said: ” I don’t think anyone went out to break the rules and break the law.”

Health officials have repeatedly warned young people to reduce their social contacts and not to have house parties. 

In response to the scenes in Galway, NUI Galway Students’ Union and other college students’ unions said that they would be appealing to students to follow public safety guidelines. 

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