A FILE is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after a man was arrested for failing to follow instructions to return home when detected by Shannon Gardaí, last Thursday, at a checkpoint set up as part of Operation Fanacht.
The man was travelling with a passenger and told officers he was going to Kilkee beach. When he failed to heed the advice of Gardaí to turn around, he was arrested. The incident, according to Superintendent John Galvin was an isolated one, with arrests being a “last resort” in the enforcement of the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Superintendent Galvin said that the Operation, which saw a number of permanent and rolling checkpoints operate across the country between Wednesday, April 8 and Monday, April 13, found a very high level of compliance in this county with the public health guidelines.
“We found that very, very few people travelled over the Easter Weekend, things were very low key and there is great credit due to the Irish people for following the guidelines,” Superintendent Galvin said. “In one case, a person was insistent that they were going to the beach. They failed to heed the advice and had to be arrested. Our message is that the Gardaí are there to give advice and that arrest is only a last resort.”
Superintendent Galvin noted that Covid-19 checkpoints had detected other offences in this county, and that there was a firearms seizure in the Kilmihil are on Saturday. He added that checkpoints would continue to operate as necessary.
“We had permanent checkpoints in Ennistymon, Kilrush, Ennis and the Killaloe-Ballina areas as well as a number of rolling checkpoints,” he said. “A number of check points will continue to operate on the main arterial routes.”
The Garda Press Office said that nationally, their new powers to enforce the Covid-19 health guidelines were used during Operation Fanacht in seven cases.
A statement added that “in addition, there were 144 Covid-19 related incidents that started as potential breaches of the regulations, but during the incidents other offences were disclosed. As such, long-standing legislation for offences such as public order, assault, road traffic, and drugs was used instead. This included incidents involving house/street parties, gatherings beyond the family unit, and non-essential travel.”