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Gardai break up ‘car meet’ gathering of hundreds of people

Officers criticised the event in Co Cork as ‘disgraceful’.

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An Garda Siochana appealed to all citizens to comply with health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

An Garda Siochana appealed to all citizens to comply with health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

An Garda Siochana appealed to all citizens to comply with health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

Gardai were forced to break up a “car meet” gathering of up to 800 people in Co Cork.

Officers criticised the event as “a disgraceful gathering” which was organised at Eastgate in Little Island on Saturday.

Gardai said more than 250 vehicles and around 700 to 800 people attended the gathering in contravention of public health regulations and guidelines that are in place.

While this event appears to have been organised on social media, An Garda Siochana has and will continue to investigate any event held in breach of the Covid-19 regulations and advice will be sought from the (Director of Public Prosecutions) in each caseAn Garda Siochana

Officers said there was very little evidence of social distancing, wearing of face coverings or general compliance with public health guidelines.

In a statement, a garda spokesman said: “Ages of participants included older males in their 30s and 40s, some accompanied by young children, but mainly males and females in their 20s.

“Participants had travelled from outside the greater Cork area and various parts of Munster.”

A senior garda inspector described the event as “a disgraceful gathering of persons, despite the health advices in the last few days”.

Gardai said that the large group had dispersed when ordered to do so.

One man, aged in his late 20s, was arrested for what gardai said were “drunkenness offences”.

An Garda Siochana would like to remind the public that the Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and is a real threat to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our societyAn Garda Siochana

The spokesman added: “While this event appears to have been organised on social media, An Garda Siochana has and will continue to investigate any event held in breach of the Covid-19 regulations and advice will be sought from the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) in each case.

“Travel restrictions have been eased for the Christmas period, however individuals still have personal social responsibility in attending events, wearing of face coverings and social distancing.

“These are not penal regulations, but they are public health guidelines which should be followed by all.

“An Garda Siochana would like to remind the public that the Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and is a real threat to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

“The virus is still spreading. It is still leading to serious illness and death.

“An Garda Siochana continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with health guidelines and regulations in order to continue to save lives.”

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