‘The Focus Here Is Not To Try And Catch People Out’


This morning.

At the Convention Centre, the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee spoke during the second stage debat on the Health (Amendement) Bill 2020 and told the Dail that the intention of everyone in the Dàil is to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

She then spoke about the new Garda powers and fines that are being deployed during Level 5 lockdown, saying:

“Covid-19 remains a very real threat to all of us and, in particular, to our most vulnerable citizens. It is a critical time for our country and we have a responsibility to comply with public health guidelines and the regulations for the good of everybody.

“While the vast majority of people continue to comply with restrictions, it is very clear that too many people are acting in a manner which enables the transmission of the virus and therefore additional measures are needed. The fixed charge system being proposed will help, we hope, to change behaviour.

“This is important to note however that the Government’s objective here is not to catch people, it’s not to fine people who are adhering to guidelines or even those who make mistakes because we all make mistakes.

“The objective is to prevent the kind of behaviour that endangers others. We do not want to see large numbers of fines issued for non-compliance.

“Even with these new enforcement powers, An Garda Siochana will continue to comply with the policing policy which has earned the support of the vast majority of the public during the pandemic…

“…The new fixed penalty notices will allow for a more proportionate system of fines. The legislation before the House today will also make it an offence to organise an event in a private home such as a house party that is in breach of public health regulations. However, as we’ve outlined, An Garda Siochana will not be given any extra powers of entry into a private dwelling. It is presumed that the occupier of the home in which the event is taking place, is the organiser unless it is proven otherwise.

“An Garda Siochana will also have additional powers to give direction in relation to events in private homes. These are firstly the powers to direct someone who is intending to enter a dwelling for the purpose of attending an event organised in contravention of the public health regulations or someone who is about to enter a dwelling for that purpose, who is attempting to enter the dwelling for that purpose, they will be asked to leave the vicinity in a peaceful and orderly manner.

If a member of An Garda Siochana suspects that an event in breach of the public health regulations is taking place in a private dwelling, he/she may direct the occupier to require and cause all those attending the event to leave the home or venue unless they are resident in the home.

“For the purpose of issuing such a direction, a member of An Garda Siochana may attend at the main entrance to the event and require the occupier to provide their name. A person who fails to comply with a direction from a member of An Garda Siochana commits the offence and is liable on summary conviction of a fine not exceeding €1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month. They may appeal the conviction against the sentence to the circuit court.

“….Operation Fanacht is focused on supporting public compliance with these public health measures, the Garda Commissioner has announced that there will be continued high-visibility patrolling by Garda members across the country. Again the focus here is not to try and catch people out, to penalise them, it’s to encourage people to adhere to the public health measures.

“Gardai will continue checkpoints on main routes. In recent weeks that has involved 132 large-scale checkpoints a day on main arterial routes around the country. In addition, thousands of mobile checkpoints a week on secondary routes and towns and villages and they will continue to be high visibility.”

Earlier: For Your Own Safety


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16 thoughts on “‘The Focus Here Is Not To Try And Catch People Out’

  1. Formerly Known As @ireland.com

    The reason for the lockdown is because some people don’t follow rules. Unfortunately, the gardai have to have the power of deterrence. In Victoria, many people get fined each day. There was an anti-lockdown protest on Friday, even when a lot of restrictions have eased and more are going to go on Sunday.

    1. E'Matty

      Yeah, Australia has turned into a weird highly controlled authoritarian State. Yay, go Australia! It’s pathetic. At least our Gardai aren’t armed as much as the Aussie cops. They are scary mo’fo’s.

    2. Johnnythree

      “””In Victoria, many people get fined each day”””
      So what??? Happy to live there? Great. We’re not having it. Its dopes like you who give permission easily that take away other peoples civil liberties.

      “””The reason for the lockdown is because some people don’t follow rules””””
      No. the reason for the lockdown is that the Govt are only informed by one side of the science (if at all) and are terrified that their meagre ICU capacity will be breached thus showing how absolutely awful they are at the basics of governing.
      You took the line that it’s the peoples fault. Go learn again.

    3. Micko

      Am really getting sick of the “other people are to blame” narrative.

      But let’s say you’re correct @Formerly and the massive rise is due to the very small minority that aren’t obeying the rules.

      If such a small amount of people misbehaving can have that huge effect, what is going to happen when we open up fully? do we stay locked down indefinitely?

      Alternatively, if there’s a lot of people causing the problem, then clearly the a lot of the public don’t want lockdown and are willing to protest in their own way by flouting the restrictions. Is it right to impose draconian restrictions on what may turn out to be a silent majority?

      Either way, there is no stopping this. We’re all getting exposed to this whether we like it or not.

      It can be quick like a band-aid ripped off or it can be slow and painful like one ripped off slowly – hair by hair.

      We’re just going to have to be a bit tougher and braver.

    1. Nicorigo

      Because they do not have a clue of what they are doing. Confinement is a measure from the middle-ages. They is no vision. Covid still be here after the first of december. We will maybe have the spread of the virus curbed but it will rise again and then what, another confiment will be needed? Nothing is done to deal actually with the problem itself…

    2. Rob_G

      Given that N. Ireland had the highest increase in rates in infection in the world this month, their COVID policy is probably something that governments should be trying to emulate.

      1. SOQ

        That was before they brought in lockdown and besides, the north never really had a bad outbreak last time around- same with parts of the north of England.

        Joined the dots yet?

        1. Cian

          It’s almost like this is a virus that spreads through person-to-person contact.
          If you reduce the number of people you meet – you reduce the likelihood of getting infected..
          If everyone reduces the number of people they meet – you can slow or stop the spread.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Haven’t finished it but so far yer man Tomás Ryan is coming over as totally uneducated as regards Covid.
      Thanks for posting. How long the video will remain up is another thing.

  2. Johnnythree

    I feel really sorry for him. Maybe he can’t have relationships except with data and needs some external validation. Even from Miriam, who it must be said is going down the ‘get me out of lockdown’ mode fast enough.

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