More than 2,500 Gardaí will be on duty across Ireland at all times on St Patrick's Day 3 months ago

More than 2,500 Gardaí will be on duty across Ireland at all times on St Patrick's Day

A policing plan is in place to manage multiple protests set for Dublin city.

More than 2,500 Gardaí will be on duty at any one time across the country this St Patrick's Day as part of a wide range of activity to support public health measures.

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This will include high-visibility patrolling at public amenities, conducting checkpoints focused on non-essential travel and people exercising outside 5km of their home, road safety activity, managing any large gatherings that may occur and providing support for the vulnerable including victims of domestic abuse.

The activity comes as multiple protest events are being planned on social media by disparate groups in different locations in Dublin city centre, which Gardaí say will require a significant policing operation.

In a statement, a Garda spokesperson said: "An Garda Síochána is advising the public to refrain from any non-essential journeys to the city centre on the day as restrictions and cordons will be in place that may hinder easy movement around the city."

In relation to these protest events, a policing plan is in place with Gardaí deploying a large number of personnel supported by national units such as the dog unit, the mounted unit, air support and public order.

In addition, checkpoints will be in place on arterial routes into the city and checks will be conducted on public transport over the course of St Patrick’s Day.

In line with public health advice, Gardaí have urged people not to organise or attend such protests.

Deputy Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon said in a statement: "While it won’t be a normal St Patrick’s Day, we can still all enjoy the day safely at home.

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"Staying home this St Patrick’s Day is the best thing people can do for their country and the best thing they can do for the people they know and love.”

Gardaí say they are seeking to engage with protest groups in advance, but added that some groups chose not to engage with them.

An Garda Síochána is also reminding the public of the need to plan their activities to take into account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home.

However, they also noted travel restrictions do not apply in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm.

Gardaí are also asking people to stay home this St Patrick’s Day and avoid large gatherings and house parties.

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Despite public health advice, Gardaí say they continue to find people gathering in large groups at social occasions and at house parties.

As of 12 March 2021, Gardaí have issued 429 €500 fines for organising a house party and 1,677 €150 fines for attending a house party.