Gardaí fine hundreds breaching Covid-19 restrictions across Ireland

The weekend saw a major increase in the number of fines issued by gardaí. Photo: PA Images.
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By Digital Desk Staff

Hundreds of people have been fined after being found more than five kilometres from home over the weekend.

Many more were given cautions and sent home after being stopped at Garda checkpoints, as the force ramped up enforcement of the Public Health Act.

Under current Level 5 restrictions to suppress the spread of Covid-19, people are asked to stay home aside from essential reasons and to exercise within five kilometres of their place of residence.

The weekend saw a major increase in the number of fines issued by gardaí, with the total number of people ticketed still being counted at Garda Headquarters.

More than 170 people were fined in Co Wicklow alone, with at least 100 fines issued on Saturday and a further 70 more on Sunday. 400 additional drivers were also sent home with a caution.

Over 30 people were ticketed at just one checkpoint at Newcastle Woods in Co Roscommon on Sunday, and 70 other drivers were given a warning.

It is understood that similar levels of enforcement took place in all parts of the country.

Gardaí also stopped a group on the M7 near Newbridge in Co Kildare on Saturday night, and all were all fined for making an unnecessary journey while the car was also seized from an uninsured driver.

Another driver was arrested for dangerous driving after being caught speeding on the M1 near Ardee in Co Louth, and received a fixed-charge notice for being over 100 kilometres from home.

Members of An Garda Síochána began enforcing fines for those breaching Covid-19 travel restrictions on Monday of last week, with just 37 on-the-spot fines of €100 issued up to Thursday before the influx seen at the weekend.

It comes as a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has warned that current levels of movement are too high and will lead to Covid-19 restrictions remaining in place for months to come.

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