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South William Street access temporarily restricted after large group gatherings

Gardaí dispersed large crowds gathered on South William Street yesterday evening.

Image: Sam Boal

ACCESS TO SOUTH William Street in Dublin city centre was temporarily restricted yesterday evening due to large groups of people gathering in the area.

Gardaí from Pearse Street and the Public Order Unit restricted access to the street for a short period yesterday to disperse the crowds.

No arrests were made.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said that gardaí “restricted access to South William Street for a short period of time on the evening of Saturday, 28 November 2020 due to public health concerns after observing large groups of people congregating in the area”.

“All persons present dispersed without incident and no arrests were made,” the gardaí said.

“From the outset in supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt a graduated policing response on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage, and, as a last resort, enforce.”

1 GARDAI FORCED TO CLOSE DUBLIN STREETS Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

“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 particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.”

Under Level Five restrictions, pubs have been allowed to open on a takeaway basis, but alcohol is not permitted to be consumed within 100 metres of the premises where it was sold.

Videos shared of people gathering on South William Street earlier this month, along with videos from Cork’s Patrick Street and Coal Quay, prompted a discussion on the viability of takeaway pints, with Taoiseach Michéal Martin saying he was “extremely concerned and annoyed” over reports of people drinking on the streets.

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“I think it flies in the face of what’s acceptable in terms of adherence to the guidelines under the regulations because we all have to work to try and get the incidence of the virus down,” Martin said. 

From Friday, 4 December, restaurants and pubs with a kitchen on-site will be allowed to reopen for sit-down diners with additional restrictions.

Pubs that only serve alcohol will be able to continue to serve takeaway drinks, but will not be allowed to reopen.

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