Gardaí may be redeployed as crowds flock to beauty spots

ireland
People pictured on Sandymount Strand, Dublin on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Collins
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The number of people gathered in public amenities during the weekend is very likely to see Garda personnel redeployed to popular locations to discourage crowds forming, according to Garda sources in Dublin.

Gardaí were expected to reintroduce static checkpoints at some beauty spots and parks around the country after crowds flocked to many public amenities during the good weather at the weekend despite the Level 5 lockdown restrictions.

Garda sources told The Irish Times that there appeared to be a noted increase in people socialising outdoors.

However, they said thousands of people lived within 5km of some of the busiest locations on Sunday and were permitted to exercise within that “5km-from-home zone” under restrictions currently in place to combat Covid-19.

The Office of Public Works reported Phoenix Park, Dublin, was “extremely busy” on Sunday with all car parks “near capacity” at about lunch time.

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After a Garda request, and in a bid to control numbers going to the park, the Chapelizod Gate was closed until 6pm.

'Extremely busy'

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Fingal County Council reported its parks were “extremely busy” on Sunday and urged people “not to drive to parks or beaches” more than 5km from home.

Donabate beach was also very busy, as well as the nearby north Dublin beachside suburbs of Malahide and Portmarnock, where the car parks were congested.

Other locations such as Sandymount in south Dublin and Howth in north Dublin were also very busy with day-trippers.

In reply to queries from The Irish Times, Garda Headquarters at Phoenix Park said the Garda encouraged people to comply with Covid-19 regulations, including the requirement to stay at home except for essential journeys and to exercise within 5km from home.

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