| 10.8°C Dublin

restriction breach Gardaí called out to UCD pitches six times in lockdown after groups ignored rules to play sport together

A spokeswoman for the university said the sports pitches have been actively monitored since the beginning of Level 5 restrictions on December 29.

Close

Member of Garda Siochana. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Member of Garda Siochana. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Member of Garda Siochana. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

GARDAÍ had to be called to the pitches of University College Dublin on six occasions during the current lockdown after members of the public flouted Covid-19 rules by meeting up in groups to play sport and refusing to stop the activity.

A spokeswoman for the university said the sports pitches have been actively monitored since the beginning of Level 5 restrictions on December 29 by a number of means, including monitoring of CCTV where available, as well as vehicle and foot patrols.

When a group is found by security staff, they are approached and reminded of public health guidance around exercise and sporting events in line with Level 5 restrictions. Typically people comply with this guidance.

"There have been 21 instances recorded since the beginning of Level 5 restrictions where individuals initially refused to comply with instructions from security staff to leave sporting facilities," the spokeswoman said.

"Each of these instances were escalated to the campus duty manager, who directed available resources to the area concerned to ensure that social distancing was observed.

"In six of these cases, the campus duty manager contacted Donnybrook garda station to request assistance intervention. In addition, during the school mid-term last week, and better weather conditions, we have increased the presence of security throughout the campus."

It comes as the latest report on Covid-19 showed two outbreaks last week were in a university or college location.

A round of on-campus mass Covid-19 testing is to take place over a number of days at the University of Limerick, to help manage a fresh outbreak of the virus among the student population.

Meanwhile, a further 56 Covid-19 related deaths were reported yesterday, with the victims ranging in age from 16 to 97.

An additional 574 people were diagnosed with the virus, with a median age of 34.

Among the new cases, 175 were in Dublin, 57 in Limerick, 43 in Kildare, 37 in Galway and 35 in Meath, while the remaining 227 were spread across 18 other counties.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said people should starve the virus by limiting their contacts.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"We continue to see good progress, but this needs to be sustained," he said.

"It is vital that we get our children back to school over the coming weeks.

"A key part of making this a success will be our continued collective buy-in to the public health measures that are tried and tested. Stay at home, work from home where possible.

"Given the increased transmissibility of the virus now, we must continue to limit our social contacts and do all we can to starve this disease of opportunities to spread."

There were 35 more admissions to hospital in the 24 hours before 2pm yesterday, when 652 were in various wards with the virus, including 137 in intensive care.

Meanwhile, there was dismay among carers looking after sick and disabled relatives at home that they were not moved up the priority list for vaccination.

Professor Karina Butler, chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), said they will be part of a rolling review.

She said NIAC will continue to look at other priority groups yet to be vaccinated, including those working or living in high-risk situations, carers and those who are socially vulnerable or disadvantaged.

She said those aged 16 to 69 with very high-risk conditions are at similar risk of severe Covid-19 as those aged 70 to 74 and should be next for vaccination.

"Thereafter, all others aged 16-69 with high-risk medical conditions should be offered vaccination," she added.

It comes as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said we now have advanced purchase agreement for 18.4 million doses, enough to inoculate 10.3 million people.


Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy