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covid breach Gardaí fine hundreds of people over St Patrick’s Day house parties

Waterford was the biggest black-spot for fines over St Patrick’s Day week, with 559 fines issued per 100,000 population.

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An Garda Síochana gave issued 268 fines in total to those breaching Covid-19 guidelines on indoor gatherings. Stock image

An Garda Síochana gave issued 268 fines in total to those breaching Covid-19 guidelines on indoor gatherings. Stock image

An Garda Síochana gave issued 268 fines in total to those breaching Covid-19 guidelines on indoor gatherings. Stock image

Several hundred fines were issued this week to people either throwing or attending house parties around St Patrick’s Day.

An Garda Síochána gave out 268 fines in total to those breaching Covid-19 guidelines on indoor gatherings.

From March 11 to March 18, 46 €500 fines were issued to organisers of house parties and 222 €150 fines were issued to attendees.

An analysis of Garda statistics also shows that in the past week, Waterford, Cork and Louth were the worst offenders when it came to fines for Covid-19 breaches.

Waterford was the biggest black-spot for fines over St Patrick’s Day week, with 559 fines issued per 100,000 population.

The second-highest number of recorded breaches was in Cork, where gardaí issued 252 fines, the equivalent of 464 per 100,000 residents. Louth ranks third with 450 per 100,000.

Limerick remains the area that has received the most fines per head of population since the beginning of the pandemic, including the figures from the past week.

It has received 571 fines per 100,000 residents. The second highest number of overall breaches was in Cork with 465 per 100,000 population and Waterford is the third highest with 413 per 100,000 population.

In the past week, 445 fines were issued in Roscommon/Longford, 414 in Cavan/Monaghan and 327 fines were issued in Dublin.

The lowest number of fines issued in the past week was in Wicklow with 12 fines, equating to 84 per 100,000 residents.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 15,358 Covid-19 fines have been issued across the country by the Gardaí.

This includes 636 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports or ports, 269 fines of €80 for not wearing a face covering and 262 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the state.

Three-quarters of all offenders are male and a quarter female. More than half of people who have been issued a Covid-19 fine aged between 18 and 25.

Out of offenders, 52pc are in the 18-25 age group, 25pc are aged 26-35, 13pc are aged 36-45, 6pc are aged 45-56, 3pc are aged 56-65 and 1pc are aged over 65.

Just 33pc of fines have been paid so far but those affected have 28 days to settle the bill or lodge an appeal.

Anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will be summoned to a court hearing where they can face a €1,000 fine or imprisonment. Gardaí also believe the potential for court hearings being reported on by the media will act as a deterrent for people who might consider not paying.

Despite the latest figures, Deputy Garda Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon said the “vast majority” of people are compiling with the public health regulations.

"Thank you and please keep it up,” she said.

"Your contribution is appreciated by Gardaí throughout the country. We know it is hard and it has meant significant sacrifices, but you are helping to save lives and protect those on the front-line.

"The best way of keeping safe this weekend is to stay home. If you are going out, please stay within your 5km, limit your contacts with others, maintain social distancing, and regularly wash your hands.”


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