Gardai warn of 'significant' Easter weekend checkpoints

210,000 passengers to pass through Dublin Airport in coming days

People take part in today’s Easter procession in the Phoenix Park led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

People take part in today’s Easter procession in the Phoenix Park led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fri, Mar 29, 2013, 15:33

Gardaí have warned travellers to take care and have mounted a “significant” number ofcheckpoints as thousands are on the move over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Four people were detected for drink driving last night as the Garda began its weekend checkpoint operation.

“We’re concerned that people aren’t heeding the message,” Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Garda National Traffic Bureau said.“We will be out in do not take chances,” he added.

Drivers have been over-represented in road fatalities, accounting for 29 of the 48 road fatalities so far this year, Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips said.

“Over half of the driver fatalities occurred between 8pm and 4am and were single vehicle collisions, whilst more than three quarters occurred on roads with a speed limit of 80kph or more,” he said.

So far 14 more people have died this year than last year. “If we do not rectify this increase in road deaths immediately, we risk the very real possibility of having an increase in road deaths in Ireland for the first time in seven years,” he said.

He urged drivers to slow down, never to drink and drive or to drive when tired and always wear a seatbelt.

Chief executive of the Road Safety Authority Noel Brett urged people to plan ahead if they were going to drink. “Make sensible decisions and don’t put your family and others through the grief of losing a loved one,” he said.

After an unseasonably cold March, more than 210,000 passengers are expected to travel through Dublin Airport over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Over 1,700 flights will arrive and depart over the weekend, including 30 charter flights.

According to Dublin Airport, sundrenched Gran Canaria, Turkey and Portugal are popular destinations this weekend.

For those staying in the State, Met Éireann has forecast dry but very cold weather for most areas over the weekend.

Glen of Imaal Mountain rescue has urged motorists to avoid all roads leading up to the Sally Gap due to snow. Yesterday, it responded to two callouts in the area, it said.

There are there are some traffic restrictions in Dublin, including the closure of O’Connell street on Sunday for a ceremony to mark the 97th anniversary of the 1916 rising outside the GPO on O’Connell Street.

The Luas Red Line stops from Saggart and Tallaght to Red Cow are closed until Monday with alternative bus transport from affected stops to the Red Cow.

Irish Rail has announced some service changes over the weekend. A bus services is in operation between Limerick and Ennis today due to maintenance works on the line. On Sunday there will be no train service between Dalkey and Bray due to maintenance works.

A regular DART service will operate from Malahide and Howth to Dalkey and between Bray and Greystones while Rosslare services will operate to and from Bray with a direct bus service between Connolly/Bray and Dún Laoghaire/Bray.

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