66 new Covid 19 fines issued in Donegal, 771 in total

There were 66 Covid 19 fines issued in Donegal in the seven days up to Thursday of this week, a 16% increase on the previous week.

Gardai say they're continuing to find groups of people gathering and having house parties, despite Covid-19 guidelines.

They say a group of up to 100 people were found at a house party last weekend.

Gardai have handed out a total of 19,865 fines for various Covid breaches.

Over 3,341 fines have been issued to people organising or attending house parties during the pandemic, with 13,972 fines of €100 issued for non essential travel. 337 fines of €80 each have been handed out for not wearing a face covering

In the North Western region, 4,391 fines have been handed out, 771 of them in the Donegal Division. Over the past week, the number of fines issued in Donegal was 66. That's eleven more than were handed out in the previous week.

An Garda Síochána – Keep Following Public Health Advice To Protect Yourselves and the Front-Line. 9th April, 2021.
- Over 3,341 fines issued to date to people attending or organising house parties - 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
- 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
- All adults in a car found to be undertaking a non-essential journey may be liable for a €100 fine eachTo date, An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 19,865 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches.

As of close of business yesterday (April 8, 2021) the following number of fines had been issued:

- 13,972 €100 fines for non-essential travel
- 1,046 €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 1,421
- 675 €500 fines for organising a house party and 2,666 €150 fines for attending a house party
- 337 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering
- 377 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

An Garda Síochána continues to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, exercise etc.) in breach of regulations. In some instances, particularly in relation to house parties, Gardaí are finding groups as big as 30 to 40 people. In one case last weekend, up to around 100 people were found at a house party.

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.

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.

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 continue to follow public health advice and regulations. We thank them for their sacrifice. We know it is not easy, but it is making a difference. It is appreciated by all Gardaí.

"Unfortunately, despite the constant public health advice, we are still seeing people attending house parties and other large social gatherings. Going to such gatherings puts yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else you come into contact with after of getting COVID-19.

"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.”