Crowds have gathered for the second night in a row in Dublin city centre.
Gardaí cleared large numbers of people from St Stephen’s Green and confiscated alcohol.
People have flocked outdoors to parks, beaches and city streets to enjoy the sunshine over recent days after weeks stuck indoors due to a combination of heavy downpours and Covid restrictions.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan earlier hit out at scenes of “enormous crowds” gathered in the capital on Saturday night.
Dr Holohan said it was what the country “does not need” after making so much progress pushing down cases of Covid-19.
On Sunday night, there were again large numbers of people in the city centre.
Dr Holohan said he had driven into the city centre to collect someone from work at 8.15pm on Saturday, and was “absolutely shocked” by what he had seen.
“Drove into Dublin City Centre to collect someone from work at 815 PM. Absolutely shocked at scenes in South Great George’s St, Exchequer St, South William St area,” he tweeted.
Drove into Dublin City Centre to collect someone from work at 815 PM. Absolutely shocked at scenes in South Great George’s St, Exchequer St, South William St area. Enormous crowds- like a major open air party. This is what we do not need when we have made so much progress.
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) May 29, 2021
“Enormous crowds – like a major open air party.
“This is what we do not need when we have made so much progress.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he shared the concerns voiced by the chief medical officer, but understood that people have had a “tough few months”.
“The weather is good and I would rather see people outdoors than indoors,” he told RTÉ’s This Week programme.
Mr Varadkar also suggested that local lockdowns remain an option for Government in the event of a future surge of cases of the virus
He conceded that previous localised lockdowns had had “mixed results”, but added that he hoped such measures would not be needed.
Coronavirus regulations remain in place across the State, however the country is looking forward to imminent relaxations.
From June 2nd, hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation will be able to reopen as well as outdoor service in bars and restaurants, cinemas and theatres.
On Friday night Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while the end of the pandemic was “within our grasp”, he urged the public to “remain vigilant against the terrible virus”.
A further 374 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were notified in Ireland on Sunday.
The latest figures also revealed there were 99 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 35 are in intensive care.