Gardaí shut down party with 80 people due to coronavirus

Crowd dispersed at birthday party in Longford to due to ‘public health’ concerns

Gardaí shut down the party using their existing public order powers. File image:  Frank Miller /	The Irish Times

Gardaí shut down the party using their existing public order powers. File image: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

 

Gardaí were forced to break up a house party involving around 80 young people in Longford town due to “public health concerns.”

Officers were called to the birthday party on Saturday evening after receiving noise complaints and reports of drunken behaviour by some of the attendees.

The young people were directed to return to their homes.

It is understood some attendees are involved in serious criminality in the area and have been part of the ongoing gang feud in the town.

“On the night of Saturday 21st March 2020, Gardaí dispersed a crowd of people socialising at a house in Longford due to ‘public health’ concerns. The crowd dispersed without incident,” a Garda spokesman said.

Gardaí shut down the party using their existing public order powers. They did not utilise the broad new powers which are being granted to them under emergency legislation passed last week to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Rank and file gardaí have yet to be briefed on the new enforcement powers. This is expected to take place later this week.

The new legislation, which will remain in place until at least November, allows gardaí to detain people who are at risk of infecting others and who refuse to self-isolate. They will also be able, on the direction of the Minister for Health, to ban access to certain premises and to stop events going ahead.

A garda spokesman said the majority of the public are making great efforts to implement social distancing.

“However the presence of large crowds of small individual groups potentially reduces the effective impact of ‘social distancing’.  We ask people and families to be responsible, not to attend popular locations and where the numbers of persons starts to increase at any location to leave such areas.”