Covid-19: Garda fines for breach of rules continue to fall

Penalties issued in past week still above 1,000 but force emphasises all have ‘role to play’

The number of fines being issued by the Garda for non-essential journeys and hosting or attending house parties has been declining, though more than 1,000 were issued in the past week.

Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, on Friday evening published its weekly update for the number of fines issued to people who breached the Covid-19 regulations. An analysis of the data releases over the past five weeks reveals the number of fines being issued is falling.

For example, in the last week some 992 fines were issued for non-essential travel within the State, down from 1,455 the previous week. And in the final two weeks of February 1,269 fines and 1,386 fines were issued.

Similarly, the number of people issued with fines for non-essential travel to ports or airports in the last week was 95. That compares to 104 the previous week and a peak of 263 fines in third week of February. However, Garda sources believe fewer people have been travelling to airports for holidays because it has become stigmatised.


People fined for attending house parties over the past week, to yesterday, was 202. This is down by one-third on the previous week and some way off the peak of 362 fines in the last week of last month.

Plea to comply

Similarly, people fined in the past week for organising a house party almost halved, with 50 issued compared to 93 in the week before and 80 and 81 in the each of the two weeks prior.

In its Friday updatethe Garda urged people to comply with restrictions this weekend. It warned that the force would be conducting an enforcement operation, including at popular amenities and beauty spots. It said gardaí “continue to find people gathering in groups at house parties or social gatherings” and urged those people to desist as their activities represented a public health risk.

Deputy Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, who is in charge of policing and security, said the “vast majority of people are complying” with the public health regulations and she thanked them for the “sacrifices” they are making.

“Everyone has a role to play in this. The best way of keeping safe this weekend is to stay home. If you are going out, please stay within your 5km limit . . . maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands.”

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times