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Garda warning after breaking up 'multiple parties' during Covid-19 restrictions

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Gardaí have urged the public not to hold parties during the lockdown because of the risk it poses to spreading the coronavirus after having to break multiple parties over the Easter weekend.

The appeal was made by police in Carlow and Kilkenny.

"In an evening that gave us the Shining the Light community initiative which showed the best of our spirit, unfortunately others fell short.

"House parties were reported in multiple locations by people who prioritised their enjoyment over the safety and health of others.

"This can undo good work and ultimately cost lives. The special measures in force mean that such gatherings are illegal at the moment.

"Calls were received by Gardai up to the early hours. Social distancing becomes impossible when households mix after consuming alcohol and other intoxicants.

"To the vast majority with their shoulders to the wheel in these tough times, thank you. To those who fell short, please, please look around you and think," said the post on the division's facebook page.

Gardaí have special arrest powers under the coronavirus lockdown and offenders can be fined or jailed. 

Gardaí have special arrest powers under the coronavirus lockdown and offenders can be fined or jailed. 

There were seven cases nationwide in which these power were used. 

A Garda spokesman said: "In a small number of cases, despite receiving a number of warnings, some individuals did not adhere to the guidelines and the regulations were used under the Health Act 1947- Section 31A- Temporary Restrictions (Covid 19) Regulations 2020 in seven cases.

"As per Garda policy in relation to the regulations, in all cases where arrests were made under the regulations, Garda members will consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the decision to charge individuals.

"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."