532 fines in Donegal for Covid regulation breaches

Gardai have issued a warning that Covid-19 doesn’t take the weekend off for house parties or social gatherings.

It comes as over 2,300 fines have been issued for organising or attending a party.

In total, 15,358 fines have been issued across the range of all Covid 19 breaches.

11,072 fines of 100 euro have been handed out for non-essential travel.

3,252 fines have been issued in the North Western Division, 532 of them in Donegal.

Release in full -

An Garda Síochána - COVID-19 Doesn’t Take The Weekend Off for House Parties or Social Gatherings
- Gardaí continue to find people gathering in groups at house parties or social gatherings
- Such gatherings put at risk not only those attending, but everyone they come into contact with after including loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and local community
- Over 2,300 fines issued for organising or attending a house party
- Plan your activities this weekend to ensure you exercise within your 5km
- Gardaí continuing high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend
- Illegal parking at such locations can result in cars being towed and impounded

To date, An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 15,358 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches.

As of close of business yesterday (March 18 2021), the following number of fines had been issued:

- 466 €500 fines for organising a house party and 1,842 €150 fines for attending a house party
- 11,072 €100 fines for non-essential travel
- 636 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports – the total number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports is 1,011
- 269 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering
- 262 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

Further data on COVID-19 fines include age, gender, and divisional breakdown is available on www.Garda.ie.

An Garda Síochána continues to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, outdoor drinking, exercise etc.) in breach of regulations.

These are not just breaches of regulations, but are a risk to the individuals involved, their families and loved ones, and continue to put everybody’s health and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at risk.  Recent surveys have shown that the majority of people believe that they are doing the right thing, but the reality is that the level of casual contacts remains high. 

An Garda Síochána will be continuing nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations. Garda checkpoints apply to all roads users including cyclists.

An Garda Síochána is again advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home. People are reminded that the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise. In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.

The public should also be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations that not only can the driver be fined, but their adult passengers as well. This is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in such a group can be fined.

When visiting amenities within 5km of your home please park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As we saw during previous weekends, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.

In enforcing these regulations, Gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

An Garda Síochána continues to remind persons subject to domestic violence - Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been on breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party, An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you, please report all such incidents.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said, "The vast majority of people are compiling with the public health regulations. Thank you and please keep it up. Your contribution is appreciated by Gardaí throughout the country. We know it is hard and it has meant significant sacrifices, but you are helping to save lives and protect those on the front-line.

"The best way of keeping safe this weekend is to stay home. If you are going out, please stay within your 5km, limit your contacts with others, maintain social distancing, and regularly wash your hands.”