Mayo pub owner arrested for Covid breach criticises 'nonsensical laws'

Mayo Pub Owner Arrested For Covid Breach Criticises 'Nonsensical Laws' Mayo Pub Owner Arrested For Covid Breach Criticises 'Nonsensical Laws'
The publican in Co Mayo was arrested on Thursday evening.
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Digital Desk Staff

A pub owner in Co Mayo has accused the Government of "turning the country into a dictatorship" after he was arrested for failing to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

Donal Byrne, who owns Eileen's Bar in Aghamore, was arrested by gardaí on Thursday, as reported in the Western People, after he attempted to open his premises, touting it as 'the first Covid free pub in Ireland'.

Under current Covid-19 restrictions, only pubs which serve food prepared on-site can reopen.

However, Mr Byrne decided to reopen his pub, using Covid-19 testing kits purchased from Communicare Medical Supplies in Claremorris as a screening method.

Gardaí visited the premises at approximately 7pm on Thursday evening, resulting in Mr Byrne's arrest an hour later after "unsuccessful engagement" when he was asked to comply with public health regulations.


In his first statement since his arrest, Mr Byrne posted on Facebook calling the laws "nonsensical".

He said he did not intend to waste the time of gardaí, saying how under-resourced the force was, adding that he understood they were required to uphold the Government's "orders from afar".

"When I experienced it and saw all that was on duty to keep our county safe, it worried me. Shame on this Government," Mr Byrne said.

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"I understand the Garda had to do what they were told to do by the people who make the rules in Dublin and that is what is wrong.

"Until the people who give these orders and make these nonsensical laws see what is actually happening in rural Ireland, they shouldn’t give orders from afar.

"My hat is off to all the Garda in the country and I have nothing but respect after what I saw you up against," he added.


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