Gardaí issue almost 5,000 fines for non-essential travel

Cross-border traffic down 13% in week since penalties introduced

The Garda has issued almost 5,000 fines for non-essential travel, new figures show. This includes 132 fines of €500 for non-essential travel to ports and airports and 4,911 fines of €100 for non-essential travel .

There have been 116 fines of €500 issued to individuals for organising a house party and 498 fines of €150 issued to those attending a house party.

There have been 127 fines of €80 issued to people for not wearing a face covering.

More than 500 fines of €100 and €500 have been issued for people undertaking non-essential journeys to ports and airports. The fine increased earlier this month from €100 to €500. Overall, about 6,550 fines have been issued for Covid-19 breaches.


Fines for non-essential cross-border travel came into operation last Monday. Traffic volumes in and around the Border were down about 13 per cent on average compared with a week earlier.

Three in every four offenders were men and 76 per cent were aged between 18 and 35 with a further 13 per cent aged between 36 and 45. Almost half the offences occurred at the weekend.

The Garda said that it had observed breaches of health regulations by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons, among other businesses.

Files were forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions with three prosecutions being taken against retail outlets.

A further 95 prosecutions have been directed against licensed premises with 44 of these being assigned court dates.

John Twomey, Deputy Garda Commissioner for policing and security, said that the vast majority of people were “doing the right things” by staying at home, making only essential journeys and limiting their contacts.

“Unfortunately, there are still people in society who are prepared to put themselves, their families, their friends and their colleagues at risk of getting Covid-19,” he said.

“Everybody in this society has an individual and collective responsibility to play their part in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Everybody in this in this society has an individual and collective responsibility to play their part in saving lives and reducing serious illness.

“It is long past time for those who are not playing their part to do so.”

The Garda reminded people that a driver and the adult passengers in a car, as well as cyclists or walkers in groups, can each be fined for breach of non-essential travel regulations.

Under the Level 5 public restrictions, people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their homes.

People issued with a Covid-19 fine have 28 days to pay. Six people are due to appear before District Courts in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Waterford and Limerick in March for non-payment.

The fines were issued up to close of business on Thursday and comprise 5,784 fines that have been processed and about 770 that are currently being checked.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times