Gardaí issue 16 fines to organisers and attendees of house parties in a number of counties
Organising a house party carries a fine of €500; attending one carries a fine of €150.
An Garda Síochána has revealed that 16 fines were issued on Thursday to organisers and attendees of house parties in a number of counties in Ireland.
Gardaí now have the power to issue members of the public with a fine for organising a house party (€500) or attending one (€150) and issued 16 fines on Thursday related to house parties in locations such as Limerick, Cork, Galway and Kilkenny/Carlow.
Furthermore, Gardaí say that, as attending a house party represents non-essential travel, a €100 non-essential travel fine can be issued to anyone going to or from a party, emphasising that the fine applies even if the party is at a neighbour’s house.
Gardaí can also issue a fine of €500 for organising other relevant events, as per the public health regulations.
Since 11 January, when they were introduced, 2,400 fines have been issued by Gardaí to people who left their homes without a reasonable excuse.
An Garda Síochána is advising people to stay home to protect themselves and their loved ones this weekend and to stay within their 5km limit when undertaking exercise.
The public have also been reminded that going on a holiday abroad is not essential travel and people travelling to or from an airport or port in relation to foreign holidays are liable for fines for undertaking non-essential journeys.
Checkpoints on access roads to airports and ports to check on whether people travelling to these locations – in private vehicles or bus services – will continue to be conducted by Gardaí, as will nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities in support of public health regulations.
Gardaí have also reminded the public of the need to be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations, adult passengers in the vehicle can be fined as well.
This also applies to adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in such a group can be fined.
With regard to the 5km exercise limit, meanwhile, Gardaí wish to remind the public that the limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise.
In other words, people can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.
To date, An Garda Síochána has also issued 63 fines for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations, with the vast majority of these (50) applying to retail premises.
Under public health regulations, individuals must wear a face mask in retail premises and under regulations, An Garda Síochána can take enforcement action once it has been informed of the alleged breach by a relevant authority, such as the manager of a retail premises.
Commenting on the appeal to the public to remain vigilant, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "The vast majority of people are continuing to play their part in tackling the spread of Covid-19.
“They are staying home, only making essential journeys, and exercising within 5km of their homes. We appreciate the sacrifices they are making and we ask them to keep it up.
"However, there are still some people putting themselves their loved ones, their friends, and their neighbours at risk of getting Covid-19 by not adhering to the regulations.
People are dying from Covid-19. People are seriously ill. Our brave doctors, nurses, medical staff and other front-line workers are putting their lives on the line to protect others. They need our support and they deserve our respect. The best way of doing this is to stay home.
"People should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands. Please stay safe and keep others safe by staying home.”