Gardaí find a further 26 pubs selling alcohol without providing food

Last week’s breaches of Covid-19 public health measures mean 165 pubs have been placed under investigation

 

Another 26 pubs have been discovered by gardaí to be breaching the Covid-19 public health measures by selling alcohol without providing food.

Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, said files on each incident were now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), whose office would determine if the law was broken.

Last week’s breaches, in the seven-day period to midnight last Sunday, bring to 165 the number of pubs placed under investigation since inspections of pubs began at the start of July under Operation Navigation.

Under a package of measures put in place for the reopening of pubs after the strict lockdown, only pubs also trading as restaurants were permitted to open. It meant pubs must serve a meal with a minimum value of €9 to customers who were drinking alcohol.

However, while there have been 165 suspected breaches of that measure – which is a guideline rather than a law or regulation – gardaí have carried out thousands of inspections.

The vast majority of pubs were found to be complying with the measures, according to Deputy Commissioner John Twomey.

“Unfortunately, there are still some that are putting their employees, their customers and their local community at risk of getting Covid-19,” he said, adding pub staff and customers all had a responsibility to act responsibly.

As well as Operation Navigation checking pubs, gardaí have in recent weeks run Operation Fanacht to encourage the localised lockdown in counties Offaly, Laois and Kildare; the latter the only one of the three now remaining in lockdown.

Last Saturday and Sunday, August 22nd and 23rd, some 139 checkpoints were conducted under Operation Fanacht, at which gardaí engaged with people and encouraged them not to leave their home county, though they had no power of enforcement.

Of those checkpoints, 77 were in Kildare and the remaining 61 were conducting in surrounding Garda divisions including Laois-Offaly, Kilkenny-Carlow and Wicklow.