26 pubs may be prosecuted for breaching Covid-19 regulations

Gardaí are cracking down on pubs that are breaching public health guidelines and prosecutions could be under way


There was much upset after footage emerged showing overcrowded streets, restaurants and pubs in Dublin city centre last weekend.

It was the first weekend that restaurants and pubs that serve substantial meals were allowed to reopen their doors, and it seems that some facilities did not adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Gardaí have recently made a statement, revealing that 26 pubs will be considered for prosecution after last weekend’s behaviour. 

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Frequent inspections

Conducting Operation Navigation, gardaí inspected almost 3,000 pubs and restaurants around the country from 7pm Friday to midnight on Sunday, making sure facilities were following guidelines.

They made 6,380 checks in total and followed a graduated policing response: engaging, educating, encouraging and, finally, enforcing the law.

After initial warnings, most places were compliant but 26 continued to breach licensing laws and health guidelines by not serving food with alcohol, not hanging advisory signage, not keeping records for contact tracing purposes and allowing large groups to sit together with no social distancing in place.

Fines and jail time

These 26 cases will be presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions who will decide which ones to prosecute in court. If convicted, the penalty is a fine of up to 2,500 and/or up to six months in prison.

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey voiced his concern, saying that a minority of reopened restaurants and pubs is potentially putting the public’s health at risk.

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He warned owners to reconsider their behavior and threatened to oppose liquor license renewals in September if they continued to be noncompliant.

 

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