Gardaí issue fines to 150 for house parties and to 280 non-essential air passengers

30 people found at some gatherings in breach of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions

More than 150 fines have been issued by the Garda to people found organising or attending house parties over the weekend, in breach of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, with 30 people found at some gatherings.

Garda checkpoints across the country resulted in more than 2,100 people being issued with fines over non-essential travel, according to latest figures released on Monday.

Between last Thursday and Sunday gardaí issued over 280 fines of €100 to people at Dublin Airport leaving the country for non-essential purposes. From Monday, the same offence can result in a €500 fine.

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In a statement, a Garda spokesman said fines had been issued to a number of people gathering at house parties in breach of Level 5 restrictions.

Someone found to have organised a house party can be fined €500, with further €150 fines for anyone attending the party.

Fines were issued by gardaí over house parties in Dublin, Sligo, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Limerick, Cork, and Tipperary.

“This included some house parties with large groups of up to 30 people at each party,” the Garda spokesman said.

"An Garda Síochána continues to implement static and roving checkpoints to check on compliance with travel restrictions. Everybody is asked to stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse for travel," he said.

“An Garda Síochána continues to check international travel at airports and ports. This includes checks surrounding airports and ports and in departure areas,” he said.

Since January 9th gardaí have identified more than 300 people arriving into the State without a negative PCR Covid-19 test as required.

On Sunday four people arrived into the State without a valid PCR test, with gardaí to prepare files for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in each case.

“Over the last few days, An Garda Síochána have also attended breaches of health regulations by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons amongst other business premises,” the Garda spokesman said.

In each case files would be sent to the DPP, he said.

Gardaí were also investigating potential breaches of public health regulations at a number of funerals and weddings. Under current restrictions funerals are limited to a maximum of 10 mourners, and weddings to six attendees.

John Twomey, Deputy Garda Commissioner for policing and security, said the "vast majority" of people were complying with regulations.

“However, some people continue to engage in behaviour that puts themselves, their loved ones, their colleagues and their neighbours at risk of catching Covid-19,” he said.

“At this stage, no one can say they aren’t fully aware of the public health advice and the potential dangers - including death and serious illness – of not following that advice,” he said.